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March 20, 2022

They Called Us Girls : Stories of Female Ambition from Suffrage to Mad Men by Kathleen Courtenay Stone ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Perfect book for Women's History Month



Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A Free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of They Called Us Girls: Stories of Female Ambition from Suffrage to Mad Men by Kathleen Courtenay Stone
March 2022; Cynren Press; 978-1947976245
ebook, print (236 pages); nonfiction

They Called Us Girls
is a well-researched look at seven women who grew their careers in the period following World War II when most women stayed home to raise families. From politicians to television, the ideal woman was portrayed as happiest at home - raising kids, cooking and cleaning, and being a help-mate to their husbands who went out every day and worked.  Do you remember Leave it to Beaver, a popular television series at this time?  The mom, June Clever, spent her days happily cooking and cleaning (always wearing her pearls).  There were still women who worked outside the home and some even advanced in their fields but they were not the norm.  I grew up during the 50s and 60s and had a mom who worked outside our home plus two grandmothers who also worked so I never really bought into the belief that women were happiest as a housewife. But when I started working in the 60s, I learned about the prejudice against women in the workplace and realized how strong my mom and grandmothers must have been to face it every day.

In this book, the author looks at seven successful women who had strong careers during this time.  She wants to learn what inspired these women, and what can they teach women and girls today?   I found all seven of these women very inspiring and am going to tell you about one of my favorites.  

Martha Lipson Lepow was born in 1927 and trained to be a physician.  She worked in a virus lab in Cleveland - the epicenter of polio research.  She was 86 when she was interviewed for this book and still worked as a physician and was regarded as one of the authorities on childhood infectious diseases.  Her father, a doctor, encouraged her to follow her dreams and become a doctor.  When she started medical school, less than 5% of the classes were women.  She interned in pediatrics just as polio was becoming an epidemic.  She was offered a job in the lab that was doing major research into childhood diseases, especially polio.  She married and had children as she continued to work in her chosen field.  During her career, she was a pediatrician, a researcher, and a teacher and received numerous rewards for her work.

If you are a female reader, you need to read this book and learn the lessons of these inspiring women from the past.   March is National Women's History month -- a perfect time to read this book!

Buy They Called Us Girls at Amazon


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.


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