Hot Best Seller

Yale Needs Women

Availability: Ready to download

“If Yale was going to keep its standing as one of the top two or three colleges in the nation, the availability of women was an amenity it could no longer do without.” In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The Ivy League institution dedicated to graduating “If Yale was going to keep its standing as one of the top two or three colleges in the nation, the availability of women was an amenity it could no longer do without.” In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The Ivy League institution dedicated to graduating “one thousand male leaders” each year had finally decided to open its doors to the nation’s top female students. The landmark decision was a huge step forward for women’s equality in education. Or was it? The experience the first undergraduate women found when they stepped onto Yale’s imposing campus was not the same one their male peers enjoyed. Isolated from one another, singled out as oddities and sexual objects, and barred from many of the privileges an elite education was supposed to offer, many of the first girls found themselves immersed in an overwhelmingly male culture they were unprepared to face. Yale Needs Women is the story of how these young women fought against the backward-leaning traditions of a centuries-old institution and created the opportunities that would carry them into the future. Anne Gardiner Perkins’s unflinching account of a group of young women striving for change is an inspiring story of strength, resilience, and courage that continues to resonate today.


Compare

“If Yale was going to keep its standing as one of the top two or three colleges in the nation, the availability of women was an amenity it could no longer do without.” In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The Ivy League institution dedicated to graduating “If Yale was going to keep its standing as one of the top two or three colleges in the nation, the availability of women was an amenity it could no longer do without.” In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The Ivy League institution dedicated to graduating “one thousand male leaders” each year had finally decided to open its doors to the nation’s top female students. The landmark decision was a huge step forward for women’s equality in education. Or was it? The experience the first undergraduate women found when they stepped onto Yale’s imposing campus was not the same one their male peers enjoyed. Isolated from one another, singled out as oddities and sexual objects, and barred from many of the privileges an elite education was supposed to offer, many of the first girls found themselves immersed in an overwhelmingly male culture they were unprepared to face. Yale Needs Women is the story of how these young women fought against the backward-leaning traditions of a centuries-old institution and created the opportunities that would carry them into the future. Anne Gardiner Perkins’s unflinching account of a group of young women striving for change is an inspiring story of strength, resilience, and courage that continues to resonate today.

30 review for Yale Needs Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    Sonia Sotomayor. Janet Yellen. Elizabeth Kolbert. Jodie Foster. Maya Lin. Angela Bassett. Anne Applebaum. Sigourney Weaver. Marian Wright Edelman. All of these notable women have gotten a leg up in life by attending Yale University. Applying to Yale may seem like a no brainer to top female high school students today, but as recently as fifty years ago, many top private universities only admitted men. With Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir stimulating the feminist revolution in the late 1960s, Sonia Sotomayor. Janet Yellen. Elizabeth Kolbert. Jodie Foster. Maya Lin. Angela Bassett. Anne Applebaum. Sigourney Weaver. Marian Wright Edelman. All of these notable women have gotten a leg up in life by attending Yale University. Applying to Yale may seem like a no brainer to top female high school students today, but as recently as fifty years ago, many top private universities only admitted men. With Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir stimulating the feminist revolution in the late 1960s, the closed door to women in prestigious universities was about to end. Anne Gardiner Perkins, a remarkable woman in her own right and the first female editor of the Yale Daily News, has written about the first female students at Yale in time for the event’s fiftieth anniversary. Yale Needs Women looks back at a pivotal moment in the history of higher education in the United States. Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Dartmouth have been known as the best of the best universities in the United States since their inception. Yet, for the entire time these universities opened their doors, the only students had been men. Yale prided itself on educating America’s future leaders and instilling a one thousand man quota plus twenty five extra each year. Notable graduates had included presidents, Supreme Court justices, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, and Wall Street executives; all men. In the world of eastern establishment gentleman’s clubs, only men were capable of being leaders of tomorrow. In the 1960s decade of turmoil coinciding with the fledgling women rights movement this was about to change. Yale President Kingman Brewster, Jr was a member of the eastern establishment. He believed that men and women operated in separated spheres of society, which in his eyes included higher education. Brewster received millions of dollars each year from male alumni, who he believed did not want Yale to open its doors to women. Students, however, wanted a change. A single sex environment did not mirror society as a whole, nor did the student mixers which brought in busloads of women from Vassar and Smith each weekend. Yale students desired co-education, and in 1969, Brewster relented, opening Yale’s doors to its first 230 female undergraduate students. Perkins centers the book around the experiences of five diverse students: freshmen Kit McClure and Lawrie Mifflin and sophomores Betty Spahn, Connie Royster, and Shirley Daniels. Yale had allowed women to enroll in its graduate programs for a number of years, yet even they felt isolated. By 1969, the year of Yale’s first undergraduate women enrollment, there were only two women tenured professors and no women in higher administration. In order to get a female perspective on female enrollment, President Brewster turned to Elga Wasserman to head the Co-Education committee. Wasserman held a PhD in chemistry but could not find a tenured position at any institution of higher education due to her gender, so she accepted Brewster’s overtures to lead the committee, as she wanted to be a voice for the women of the next generation. What Wasserman desired and Brewster supported, however, did not mesh, leading to friction between the two of them as Yale moved toward greater co-education in the years to come. More women students would not be for a number of years, and for the first year the 230 would suffice for Brewster, who did not really desire their presence in the first place. The passage of Title IX was still three years away. In 1969 Yale did not have any varsity sports for women nor any role for them on the university’s newspaper staff, choir, or senior secret societies. Mory’s club excluded women, yet Yale professors and administrators continued to conduct their business there. With only 230 women in the freshman class as well as 575 overall across the entire university, often times the women felt isolated. Yet, they made gains albeit small ones. Kit McClure joined the marching band as a trombonist. Lawrie Mifflin started a field hockey team that she hoped would eventually gain varsity status. Connie Royster majored in theater and starred in a number of plays. Betty Spahn anchored a Women’s Collective that met once a week and encouraged women to speak their minds and not feel so alone. Shirley Daniels became an active member of the Black Society at Yale and a member of its student board. While Kingman Brewster and his cronies still believed that only men were future leaders, the first women at Yale had other ideas. Perkins prose reads so quickly that I finished this book in one day. She discusses what happened in society as a whole including the Black Panther trial, Vietnam protests, Kate Millet and second wave feminism, and the passage of Title IX. All of these events played a role in eventually ending Yale’s one thousand man quota and making admission gender blind. I rooted for Perkins’ five pioneering students as well as Elga Wasserman to make changes to the eastern establishment. Along the way, readers meet other students and administrators, male and female, who left their mark on Yale’s push toward co-education. Whether it was chairing a student committee, signing a petition to end Mory’s single sex policy, working toward creating female varsity sports, or starting a female only band, the women in this book quickly showed President Brewster that they meant business and exhibited qualities that would make them members of America’s future leadership class. So much happened in the United States in the late 1960s: the Civil Rights Act, man walking on the moon, Vietnam, Woodstock. It is easy to overlook Ivy League schools opening their doors to women, yet this watershed moment allowed women to show their metal as America’s future leaders. Judging from the list at the opening of this review, Yale made the correct choice to go co-educational. Yale has been at the cutting edge of educating future award winners, politicians, and business leaders, both men and women, and for the last fifty years, women have proven that they are also up to the task as leaders of society. From 1988-2008, the President of the United States had been Yale educated. With Yale at the cutting edge of educating future leaders, perhaps one day a female president will join the list of notable female Yale alumna. 4+ stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Teodora

    This is a fabulous historical nonfictional work. Yes, Yale needs more women. Every top Uni out there needs more women. All the women they can get. And I do not exaggerate. It is not an exaggeration, it is something wonderful For everyone with feminist inclination, this actually might be an interesting nonfictional read. Just a bit of a mind-opener. Really shows that with the right materials, everyone can build beautiful things.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I was particularly interested in reading this book as I also found myself an unlikely pioneer in college......among the first women attending Washington and Lee University in 1985. We numbered only 100 of 1600 undergrads on campus. I found many similarities, not all of them positive, between my experiences and those of the women of Yale in 1969. This book is well-written and easily engages the reader with the lives of 5 women as well as many other figures at the university at that time. There ar I was particularly interested in reading this book as I also found myself an unlikely pioneer in college......among the first women attending Washington and Lee University in 1985. We numbered only 100 of 1600 undergrads on campus. I found many similarities, not all of them positive, between my experiences and those of the women of Yale in 1969. This book is well-written and easily engages the reader with the lives of 5 women as well as many other figures at the university at that time. There are some fascinating details, including the shadows of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war protests, looming among these students battling for equality in their secondary education. I think this book is a must-read for those interested in the evolution of university coeducation as well as women’s rights. We must study history, not ignore or destroy it, in order to learn how to better ourselves for the future. This is a great study in the history of American education.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    An engrossing, detailed and frequently appalling account of the first years of coeducation at Yale, serving as a timely reminder of how very different the world was 50 years ago and how glacial was and remains the pace of change at the white male bastion that is Yale. Kingman Brewster in particular comes in for a large share of the opprobrium, I think deservedly and very much at odds with his popular image and memory. There are minor errors which don't detract from the narrative. No Y An engrossing, detailed and frequently appalling account of the first years of coeducation at Yale, serving as a timely reminder of how very different the world was 50 years ago and how glacial was and remains the pace of change at the white male bastion that is Yale. Kingman Brewster in particular comes in for a large share of the opprobrium, I think deservedly and very much at odds with his popular image and memory. There are minor errors which don't detract from the narrative. No Yorkside Pizza in 1971!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emily Joy

    In this riveting book, Anne Gardiner Perkins presents the stories and history behind Yale’s decision to become coed and start accepting female undergraduate students in 1969, at a time when feminism, women’s lib, and activism was increasingly making the news. Yale Needs Women is one of the best works of feminist nonfiction I have ever read, set during an eventful time in American history. Focusing on the lives of five of the first female students at Yale, this book discusses the issues female st In this riveting book, Anne Gardiner Perkins presents the stories and history behind Yale’s decision to become coed and start accepting female undergraduate students in 1969, at a time when feminism, women’s lib, and activism was increasingly making the news. Yale Needs Women is one of the best works of feminist nonfiction I have ever read, set during an eventful time in American history. Focusing on the lives of five of the first female students at Yale, this book discusses the issues female students faced when they were often the only women in the room. I loved this book. It was everything I wanted it to be, and perhaps more. This book is a page-turner, and after I first picked it up, I couldn’t stop picking it up again to read more and more, finishing it in three days. The stories of all five women were varied and different and included many voices and experiences. I love narrative-driven nonfiction, and the women we follow in this book are a perfect mix to highlight life at Yale during this fascinating time in Yale’s (and America’s) history. In fact, that’s one of the things that I loved best about this book. Feminism is, of course, a big theme in this book, but it does not focus only on white feminism, and instead makes a point to showcase how black students did not feel represented by some of the white-led activism on campus, and shared how black female students were equally vocal and active in their efforts, including creating a seminar class that studied black women’s leaders and hosting the “Conference on Black Women” which featured Maya Angelou as a speaker. For much of the book, I was a little bit disappointed that there didn’t seem to be any mention of LGBTQ students, but was later happy to read that one of the five students comes out as a lesbian and becomes involved with other lesbian feminists outside of Yale. I was so excited! Perkins also wrote earlier in the book: "The gay women were there, of course, but the climate made sure most kept that identity hidden. Many aspects of sex at Yale went unseen in 1970. The presence of gay students was just one of them." Suffice to say, by the end, I was no longer disappointed in this book’s LGBTQ content. I loved this book, and while I try not to assign star ratings, this book is definitely a five-star book and well-worth reading. It’s engaging, informative, and educational. Especially pick this up if you have an interest in campus activism and second-wave feminism! I received this book via NetGalley for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine

    A few reviewers referred to Yale needs Women as a novel and it is not. This is an academic work although written in a very accessible style for the average reader. The book started as a graduate paper and morphed into a dissertation over time. Anne Gardner Perkins has a wonderful writing style for what could become dry material. Perkins really allows readers into the lives of several of the students and one administrator in particular. The author straddles the line nicely between fitting in the A few reviewers referred to Yale needs Women as a novel and it is not. This is an academic work although written in a very accessible style for the average reader. The book started as a graduate paper and morphed into a dissertation over time. Anne Gardner Perkins has a wonderful writing style for what could become dry material. Perkins really allows readers into the lives of several of the students and one administrator in particular. The author straddles the line nicely between fitting in the comprehensive detailed research she managed and making it interesting enough that someone mighty think it was a novel. As others have said, Yale needs Women was eye opening. It’s not a book for feminists only and I sincerely hope it doesn’t get classified as women’s studies and left there. This work deserves a wider audience. That first wave of women had a difficult time. They weren’t wanted by many, they were taken advantage of by many, endured discouragement and harassment in the name of a quality education. There are many sad chapters in our nation’s history and this is one. As a woman I am not always aware of the struggles of those who have gone before me to break down barriers and I really appreciated this research. My thanks to #NetGalley for this ARC of #YaleNeedsWomen

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins is a fabulous historical account (nonfiction) based on the first females that were accepted and lived on campus at Yale starting the summer/fall term of 1969. This is particularly interesting for anyone that is interested in female rights/liberties, how we have acquired what we have so far, and to gage how far we still need to go. It is fascinating (and honestly very sad) to see how difficult it was for these women to just want to have the sam Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins is a fabulous historical account (nonfiction) based on the first females that were accepted and lived on campus at Yale starting the summer/fall term of 1969. This is particularly interesting for anyone that is interested in female rights/liberties, how we have acquired what we have so far, and to gage how far we still need to go. It is fascinating (and honestly very sad) to see how difficult it was for these women to just want to have the same opportunities and educational experiences as men, and how they were treated and probably overwhelmed doing so. This gives the positives as well as the cascade of repercussions of this monumental integration. A fascinating read. I was able to devour this gem in less then 2 days. 5/5 stars. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC and in return I am giving my unbiased and voluntary review. Thank

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cait

    I love books about feminism, I love books about higher ed, I love books that take a micro topic (the first cohort of women admitted to Yale) and use that to examine a macro topic (women’s place in higher ed from the 1960’s to today).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    "The phrase rankled, and some women liked to extend it: "one thousand male leaders and two hundred concubines," they would say to each other, underscoring what the tagline implied for their own status. The male undergraduates were the given, the nonnegotiable, the heart of Yale's mission. The women were add-ons." In 1969, Yale admitted the first 575 women into their undergraduate school - a quantity that meant the ladies were outnumbered by their male counterparts at a ratio of roughly 7:1. And w "The phrase rankled, and some women liked to extend it: "one thousand male leaders and two hundred concubines," they would say to each other, underscoring what the tagline implied for their own status. The male undergraduates were the given, the nonnegotiable, the heart of Yale's mission. The women were add-ons." In 1969, Yale admitted the first 575 women into their undergraduate school - a quantity that meant the ladies were outnumbered by their male counterparts at a ratio of roughly 7:1. And what was one of the primary reasons Yale president Kingman Brewster, Jr. decided to let these ladies in in the first place? Equality? Fairness? Guess again: by 1968, 40% of students accepted by Yale were choosing to go elsewhere, with a majority citing Yale's single-sex status as the reason. Essentially, he didn't want Yale's status to suffer. So these 575 ladies get admitted, and then life is all peaches and cream and rainbows for them, right? Not so much. These ladies had to deal with constant sexual harassment - even if that term hadn't been invented yet. There were no sports for women to play, only a "women's exercise" class. The Yale Wiffenpoofs, the most prestigious singing group at Yale, stated "it would make an inferior sound to have girls singing," and thus, wouldn't allow women in. Mory's club, where Yale professors would wine, dine, and conduct business meetings, was off-limits to ladies as well. Yale Needs Women primarily follows five women who were admitted in that first class of 575 - Kit McClure, the only female (reluctantly) allowed in the Yale marching band; Lawrie Mifflin, a field hockey enthusiast who wanted nothing more than to establish a female Varsity team at Yale; Connie Royster, a budding dramatist; Betty Spahn, a political activist; and Shirley Daniels, a leader in the Black Student Alliance at Yale. Although Yale Needs Women's principal focus is on, well, women at Yale, Perkins also weaves in a lot of events that were also happening at the time and impacted Yale life, such at the Black Panther movement, the Vietnam War, and abortion rights. This helped the reader get a more holistic sense of life at Yale, rather than just the slice of the fight to increase the number of ladies enrolled. I'm blown away that this book started out as Perkins's history dissertation and is her first book. If you just read "history dissertation" and equate that with "boring," you'd be oh so wrong in this case. Perkins writes in a style that grabs the reader's attention from page one and doesn't let it go until the story is wrapped up. As an avocado toast eating millennial, I had no idea that it was as recently as when my mother went to college that Yale wasn't enrolling women in their undergraduate program. So I found it fascinating to read about the plights of the first ladies as they paved the way for future generations. The amount of research and the thoroughness through which it is conducted is clearly evident. Basically, this book checks a lot of the boxes for me: well written, interesting, about a topic I knew little about going in, and relevant to conversations going on in the world today. Perkins writes in a non-ranty, tell-it-like-it-is manner that I didn't find off-putting like I've found with some other feminist books I've read as of late. I can already tell that Yale Needs Women will be sticking in my brain for a long time to come. I started talking this book up at a party I attended this past weekend, and I'll continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Go forth and pick yourself up a copy, stat! Thanks NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth S

    Tightly woven, nuanced true history of five of the First Women who entered Yale College in the fall of 1969. Set during the turbulent 60s, with the Vietnam War protests, Black Panther trials, and the emergence of the Second Wave of Feminism, Perkins brings the era, and the lives of these young women to life. Perkins, herself a 1981 Yale graduate, Rhodes Scholar and PhD historian, was the first woman to serve as Editor in Chief of the legendary Yale Daily News. The saga of the women's field hocke Tightly woven, nuanced true history of five of the First Women who entered Yale College in the fall of 1969. Set during the turbulent 60s, with the Vietnam War protests, Black Panther trials, and the emergence of the Second Wave of Feminism, Perkins brings the era, and the lives of these young women to life. Perkins, herself a 1981 Yale graduate, Rhodes Scholar and PhD historian, was the first woman to serve as Editor in Chief of the legendary Yale Daily News. The saga of the women's field hockey team's journey to become the first women's varsity sport at Yale alone is worth the read. At times hilarious and others truly heartbreaking, Perkins writes with verve and style. (Disclosure. This reviewer is one of the five women portrayed in the book. In all likelihood that makes me a tougher audience.)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mayleen

    I chose this book to be one of two non-fiction books I would be discussing in my November Book Talk at my library. I found it fascinating and very informative. I devoured it in two days. Needless to say I was blown away when I attended the Library Journal Day of Dialog in October and who was there on a panel? Anne Gardiner Perkins! She was great (as well as the rest of the panel). I have been recommending the heck out of this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. "If Yale was going to keep its standing as one of the top two or three colleges in the nation, the availability of women was an amenity it could no longer do without." In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the count I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. "If Yale was going to keep its standing as one of the top two or three colleges in the nation, the availability of women was an amenity it could no longer do without." In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The Ivy League institution dedicated to graduating "one thousand male leaders" each year had finally decided to open its doors to the nation's top female students. The landmark decision was a huge step forward for women's equality in education. Or was it? The experience the first undergraduate women found when they stepped onto Yale's imposing campus was not the same one their male peers enjoyed. Isolated from one another, singled out as oddities and sexual objects, and barred from many of the privileges an elite education was supposed to offer, many of the first girls found themselves immersed in an overwhelmingly male culture they were unprepared to face. Yale Needs Women is the story of how these young women fought against the backwards-leaning traditions of a centuries-old institution and created the opportunities that would carry them into the future. Anne Gardiner Perkins's unflinching account of a group of young women striving for change is an inspiring story of strength, resilience, and courage that continues to resonate today. Yale didn't let in women until really late in the game .. yet they let in Dubya no questions asked?? (LOL). This was an interesting read, especially in the time right now of college admission scandals - mind you, how is that whole debacle different from wealthy alumni donating wings and buildings so that their not-s-smart or deserving kids can get in no questions asked??? Sometimes feminism backfires as shown in this book ... I am not a feminist (long story) but I have them in my family and I know my niece, for instance, would explode at the anti-feminism exposed in this book. It was an interesting read and the excellent research and points of view given by the author made it a totally enjoyable read. Anyone who works in education would enjoy reading this as would anyone who considers himself to be a feminist. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millennials on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 📜📜📜📜📜 NOTE: I cannot link this review to LinkedIn - there is something wrong with the linking/programming and it will not happen.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Gust

    While working on a PhD in History at the University of Massachusetts, the author had a light bulb moment about the first females at historically all-male Yale. The slightly more than 200 women admitted in 1969 as freshmen, sophomores and juniors had become a footnote in history but no one had ever told their stories. So she decided to do it. Yale Needs Women reminds us of how much has changed over the past 50 years as well as how little essential change has occurred. Those of us who came of age While working on a PhD in History at the University of Massachusetts, the author had a light bulb moment about the first females at historically all-male Yale. The slightly more than 200 women admitted in 1969 as freshmen, sophomores and juniors had become a footnote in history but no one had ever told their stories. So she decided to do it. Yale Needs Women reminds us of how much has changed over the past 50 years as well as how little essential change has occurred. Those of us who came of age in the bad old days of the 1960s and 1970s will identify with the struggles of the female undergrads at Yale. Despite being eminently qualified for admission and for the most part outperforming their male cohorts, they were treated as “lesser than” and simply ignored by most of the 99% all-male faculty. For the majority of their male classmates they were simply sexual targets. The university president, Kingston Brewster, Jr., reluctantly succumbed to pressure to allow coeducation in 1967 but only with the commitment to keep male admissions at a 7:1 ratio. He added no female faculty or female residence halls. In fact, they spread the new female undergraduates throughout the residences of the 12 colleges - minimizing the fellowship/sense of belonging that all-women residences might have produced. It also made them easier targets for harassment. I found this book enthralling to much a deeper extent than I had anticipated. I knew it would be interesting but Ms. Perkins' writing style is such that she transformed an extensive amount of data, including statistics, into a very palatable read. Besides delivering the information about the co-education transformation, she followed up on many of those first female coeds at Yale and other females involved in the process. All these decades later, the statistics for females in higher education faculty and administrative still lag greatly behind. This is a great read in my opinion because it deals with an important topic and highlights the harsh reception that these first Yale female undergrads were given. Fortunately, they were strong enough to carve a way for themselves and the coeds who followed them. It is not just for feminists - this is a great story of the human spirit that encompasses those who pioneer change as well as those who champion "tradition." I was given an advanced reader copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I received an ARC of this book from Bookbrowse.com in exchanged for a First Impressions review. In the fall of 1969, Yale admitted its first women - 575 of them - to its undergraduate college.The pressure came from male students who were selecting coed universities in preference to the all-male Yale, and the school feared losing its preeminence to other elite schools. So women were admitted -- and Yale thought it had done enough. As author Anne Gardiner Perkins (who entered Yale in 19 I received an ARC of this book from Bookbrowse.com in exchanged for a First Impressions review. In the fall of 1969, Yale admitted its first women - 575 of them - to its undergraduate college.The pressure came from male students who were selecting coed universities in preference to the all-male Yale, and the school feared losing its preeminence to other elite schools. So women were admitted -- and Yale thought it had done enough. As author Anne Gardiner Perkins (who entered Yale in 1977 herself) notes at the end of her book, the story typically told of what happened next was "... a sanitized tale of equity instantly achieved, as if all it took to transform these villages of men into places where women were treated as equals was the flip of an admissions switch. That is not what happened." Perkins, as research for her doctoral dissertation, interviewed 51 of the women in that first class, with particular attention to five of them, 2 black and 3 white. Using their stories she traces the first three years of Yale's coeducation experience from the women's point of view -- and it was not an easy life. They were discounted, disrespected, ignored, excluded and harassed --but they involved themselves in the life of the school in spite of all that and fought for increasing the number of women and improving the conditions under which they lived and studied. This book was of particular interest to me because I graduated from college in 1970, the same school year in which this story begins. I was in graduate school at University of Virginia in 1970/71, the first year women were admitted to the undergraduate college there, and taught at UVA in 1972/72, the first year a full class of women entered through the normal admissions process.The situations Perkins describes are familiar. She tells the story well. This book does an excellent job of charting the path women have followed over the past 50 years, at least with regard to academics. But as the end of the book indicates,while we have in fact come a long way, baby -- we aren't there yet.

  15. 5 out of 5

    June

    Writing for an academic audience (such as in a dissertation) is totally different from how stories are told in popular non-fiction, so it is rare when an author can turn academic research into a compelling, readable book that non-specialists will enjoy. Anne Gardiner Perkins has done it here. This is the eye-opening story of how change happens at the cultural and institutional levels, as well as the personal. I really hope this book won't simply be labeled "feminist" and buried on the Writing for an academic audience (such as in a dissertation) is totally different from how stories are told in popular non-fiction, so it is rare when an author can turn academic research into a compelling, readable book that non-specialists will enjoy. Anne Gardiner Perkins has done it here. This is the eye-opening story of how change happens at the cultural and institutional levels, as well as the personal. I really hope this book won't simply be labeled "feminist" and buried on the women's studies shelf, because, while it is a great resource for that field, it is also useful to anyone interested in how societies undergo rapid (and, it turns out, not-so-rapid) changes over "flashpoint" issues. Those who lived through the 60s will enjoy this look back at the good and bad aspects of the time, and those who have grown up since then will learn a lot about the factors that shape our present-day world and its issues.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Anne Gardner Perkins has done an amazing job with Yale Needs Women. This book tells the stories of some of the women in the first undergraduate class of women to be enrolled at Yale in 1969. It is so easy for us to think that women have always had an equal right to education as men did. This book shows the discrimination women received at Yale and how these women worked to overcome the obstacles they faced in sports, marching band, the school paper, safety on campus, and others. I was really imp Anne Gardner Perkins has done an amazing job with Yale Needs Women. This book tells the stories of some of the women in the first undergraduate class of women to be enrolled at Yale in 1969. It is so easy for us to think that women have always had an equal right to education as men did. This book shows the discrimination women received at Yale and how these women worked to overcome the obstacles they faced in sports, marching band, the school paper, safety on campus, and others. I was really impressed with the activism at Yale during the Vietnam and Roe vs Wade eras as well as the women’s rights era. Yale Needs Women should be required reading, especially for the younger generations, so they can see how far women have come, but also how difficult it was to get there. And also that women have not yet reached equality and so need to keep striving. I won a copy of this book from Bookreporter.com.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Previously an all-male enclave, Yale admitted its first women students in 1969. This book is a surprisingly compelling account of how that change came about and an account of some of the first women to be accepted there. They certainly didn’t have an easy ride, and prejudice against women from both faculty and students survived for quite a while. It’s hard now to remember those days and this is a timely reminder of how women have often had to battle for equal educational rights. The stories of s Previously an all-male enclave, Yale admitted its first women students in 1969. This book is a surprisingly compelling account of how that change came about and an account of some of the first women to be accepted there. They certainly didn’t have an easy ride, and prejudice against women from both faculty and students survived for quite a while. It’s hard now to remember those days and this is a timely reminder of how women have often had to battle for equal educational rights. The stories of some of those first students, and the trajectory their lives took, make for some fascinating reading, but after a while I found it all became a bit repetitious and I began to flag. Perhaps the book could have been a bit more condensed to retain the reader’s (or at least this reader’s) attention. Overall, however, an interesting and worthwhile read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    This is a fabulous book that follows four women who were in the first class at Yale. What I love about this book, is that in the same way poetry uses few words to state big and powerful ideas, Perkins gives us a scope of a turbulent time in our history that includes civil rights, women's movement, ecology and the Vietnam War, though the experience of these four women. I bought this for each of the millenials in my life, to help them understand how different it was to grow up female not too long This is a fabulous book that follows four women who were in the first class at Yale. What I love about this book, is that in the same way poetry uses few words to state big and powerful ideas, Perkins gives us a scope of a turbulent time in our history that includes civil rights, women's movement, ecology and the Vietnam War, though the experience of these four women. I bought this for each of the millenials in my life, to help them understand how different it was to grow up female not too long ago.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I am one of the first women in Yale College. Fifty years ago it was impossible to really understand what was going on around us. There was no social media, no smartphone in our pocket, no internet with news at one's fingertips. We knew only what we happened to encounter. 1969-1973 at Yale was a tumultuous and chaotic time. Anne Perkins has recreated those years, but with the benefit of her meticulous research and great storytelling I now understand what was going on around me. I am astonished. A I am one of the first women in Yale College. Fifty years ago it was impossible to really understand what was going on around us. There was no social media, no smartphone in our pocket, no internet with news at one's fingertips. We knew only what we happened to encounter. 1969-1973 at Yale was a tumultuous and chaotic time. Anne Perkins has recreated those years, but with the benefit of her meticulous research and great storytelling I now understand what was going on around me. I am astonished. And I was there. You will be astonished too. Read this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    M

    As a Yale alum, I expected to this book to add some useful context to my recent time at Yale. I did not expect to be so enrapt in Anne Gardiner Perkins’ storytelling and so impressed by each students’ bravery and perseverance in the face of emotional, physical, and sexual assault that I was teary-eyed at nearly every page. The depth of Perkins’ research is impeccable. I could practically see every student’s face and the setting of every scene. Their experiences felt visceral and true, as they re As a Yale alum, I expected to this book to add some useful context to my recent time at Yale. I did not expect to be so enrapt in Anne Gardiner Perkins’ storytelling and so impressed by each students’ bravery and perseverance in the face of emotional, physical, and sexual assault that I was teary-eyed at nearly every page. The depth of Perkins’ research is impeccable. I could practically see every student’s face and the setting of every scene. Their experiences felt visceral and true, as they really were. These were the moments that shaped the next decades at Yale—my own short time there included. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    3 stars This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below. brief summary Drawing on first-hand interviews and numerous secondary sources, this eye-opening history follows five primary individuals and nearly a score of others involved in the tumultuous years of the late 1960s and early 1970s as Yale opens the doors of its hallowed halls to students of the fairer sex for the first time/>brief/>This 3 stars This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below. brief summary Drawing on first-hand interviews and numerous secondary sources, this eye-opening history follows five primary individuals and nearly a score of others involved in the tumultuous years of the late 1960s and early 1970s as Yale opens the doors of its hallowed halls to students of the fairer sex for the first time. full review Perkins' research shines throughout this volume, blending seamlessly with the narration in such a way that the nonfiction read almost like a novel. Much like a novel, readers will have a hard time putting the sequence of events from their minds until they get to the end, and the prevailing attitudes of the time will linger for days and days after finishing, bringing sharper focus to the parallels with today's social climate. As a part of the Millennial generation, Yale Needs Women was eye-opening in much the same way New shoes was. It presents a version of the world which is so alien to my own experience that merely reading about the iniquities is almost like reading about a fictional dystopia. It is as enthralling as it is infuriating to read about the institutional foot-dragging and the casual misogyny presented herein. This book has the potential to appeal to a wide audience. Millennial readers such as myself will come a greater appreciation of the work put in to achieve gender parity, as well as the distance yet to be covered. Older readers may remember living through some of the cultural zeitgeists alluded to in the text. The opportunity for cross-generational conversations presented by this book are ample, and the subject matter itself is relevant, even fifty years later. This is a book to borrow, to lend, to gift, and to share. It would be a great book club choice. I would be confident in recommending it to just about any reader. rating scale 1 star - I was barely able to finish it. I didn't like it. 2 stars - It was okay. I didn't dislike it. 3 stars - It was interesting. I liked it. 4 stars - It was excellent. I really liked it. 5 stars - It was extraordinary. I really hope the author wrote more things

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cris

    I think I appreciated this book immensely more because my daughter goes to Yale. Without that connection I think I would have abandoned it. It is the portrait of a turbulent era and the injustice against women is quite enraging, but it is a bit dry and a bit boring.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    This book is quite good. The author has done a good job with her research and presenting the fact in a way to keep your interest. This year is the 50th anniversary of Yale admitting women as undergraduates. The reader gets a good idea of what being a student at Yale was like amidst what was happening in the world in 1969. This book caused me to reflect on my own college experience. I graduated from a large mid-west coed university in 1969. While I did not experience some of the things This book is quite good. The author has done a good job with her research and presenting the fact in a way to keep your interest. This year is the 50th anniversary of Yale admitting women as undergraduates. The reader gets a good idea of what being a student at Yale was like amidst what was happening in the world in 1969. This book caused me to reflect on my own college experience. I graduated from a large mid-west coed university in 1969. While I did not experience some of the things the women at Yale did, I, too, did not have female professors. I was majoring in, what was then, a male dominated field. I had professor stand up in class saying the few females in this class did not belong because we were taking seats from men. I agree with the author when she says most people did not experience the women's movement until the '70s because compared to the protesting against the war in Vietnam, the civil rights movement and the assassinations of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy in '68 the women's movement did not seem that important. I applaud these women who pushed to make Yale more open to coeds.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shari Suarez

    In 1969 Yale admitted women for the first time. This is the story of that decision and the hardships and isolation that the first female students endured. The author spent five years researching this book and it shows. She spoke to several of the students and administrators at the time and told their stories. I wasn't aware that Yale didn't admit women until 1969 and I was both touched and horrified by their experiences.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tricia Nociti

    A story I didn't realize I wanted to know so much about! I'm now recommending to all of my reading friends. I am one of those people who always considered the women's liberation movement to have been a thing that happened. Rather, it was a process of effort and coordination from so many people through so many years. I loved reading this piece of history. It has me seeking more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lois Lane

    Very readable book about the first women to be admitted to Yale. Things that stood out for me were the descriptions of Yale as a traditional men’s Ivy League school as well as the stories of the individual women who were the first to enter Yale. The author has a lively writing style that brings the women’s stories to life.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex Richey

    Audiofile Review! A really fascinating journey through history. I think what surprises me the most is how much initiative these college students showed to make the changes necessary to make women at Yale happen at all. I don't remember the other students at my own university take this kind of initiative. Wow. Very inspiring, and still relevant in today's political climate.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Clazzzer C

    Anne Gardiner Perkins brought to us here in this truly excellent account the tale of the first women to be admitted to Yale and how their first experience was nothing like that of their male counterparts. Education globally has traditionally been views as a right, a privilege, an expectation of men within societies, predominantly in the developed world but increasing in the developing world also. When women wanted and were allowed to encroach on their territory they had no intention of making it Anne Gardiner Perkins brought to us here in this truly excellent account the tale of the first women to be admitted to Yale and how their first experience was nothing like that of their male counterparts. Education globally has traditionally been views as a right, a privilege, an expectation of men within societies, predominantly in the developed world but increasing in the developing world also. When women wanted and were allowed to encroach on their territory they had no intention of making it easy for them to do so. Perkins here highlights the difficulties these pioneers faced, the degradation and discrimination they were subjected to and how men did anything but welcome these women into their fold. These women are to be revered, applauded, rewarded. Without their efforts, and those of many of their generation, we would still be at home, cooking, cleaning and bearing may children, denied the education that we have gained, that we value, that we deserve, enjoy and cherish. Thank you Anne Gardiner Perkins for this great account. I intend to seek our more on this topic such was the zeal with which I devoured this text. Well done,. Definitely 5 starts from me!!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jade - theelderbooks

    An enlightening and powerful review of Yale's evolution regarding women ! Women's rights and empowerement is a topic dear to me. Reading this book was both a big slap in the face and a message of hope. I had no idea how much women were bullied in such high spheres until I read those words and saw it for myself while researching this topic, and reading about it was definitely educational. However, the growth of women movements depicted here is an absolute message of hope and of not giv An enlightening and powerful review of Yale's evolution regarding women ! Women's rights and empowerement is a topic dear to me. Reading this book was both a big slap in the face and a message of hope. I had no idea how much women were bullied in such high spheres until I read those words and saw it for myself while researching this topic, and reading about it was definitely educational. However, the growth of women movements depicted here is an absolute message of hope and of not giving up. Eevery single one of the women featured here should motivate women to not let anyone walk all over them. I loved how the author brought us the portraits of some amazing women studying in Yale in the 70's. It really made me feel close to them, and I felt extremely proud of them, even though I'm reading about their fights and achievements only now. Those women are role models and pioneers for everyone ! I have to admit Kit McClure and Elga Wassermann are my absolute favorites. Their stories are fantastic and the way they kept defying men's authority no matter how many times they failed getting what they asked for. If you have to read this for only one reason, let it be to discover their stories. Now, while most women are portrayed as fighters and resistants to men authority, 90% of the men are white stubborn priviledged. Obviously, they felt in their own rights being the leader of Yale back then, but I'm extremely curious about what those men felt exactly at that time. I would also love reading about how current Yale students feel about this book, and get their insights of Yale in 2019. Anyway, this is brilliant work with a great telling of incredible stories and is a way to open your mind to reflexion about the evolution of the men/women balance in general.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Full Disclosure--- I am a biased reviewer here. I came to Yale just after the first 4-yr class of women had graduated.I knew many of the people in this book, as administration, professors, upperclassmen--- even my freshman counselor. And I reaped the benefits of their early struggles to make Yale a good place for women students. Yale had certainly not yet reached the ideals and goals that the first women were fighting for, but it was getting there, starting with the removal of quotas for women's Full Disclosure--- I am a biased reviewer here. I came to Yale just after the first 4-yr class of women had graduated.I knew many of the people in this book, as administration, professors, upperclassmen--- even my freshman counselor. And I reaped the benefits of their early struggles to make Yale a good place for women students. Yale had certainly not yet reached the ideals and goals that the first women were fighting for, but it was getting there, starting with the removal of quotas for women's admission after 4 years, which is where the book ends. Even though I was a part of those early years, the book was eye-opening. As an 18-yr-old thrown into the midst of an historic and seismic shift in cultural, social , gender values, I never realized what my predecessors had gone through. When you are in the eye of a hurricane or any cataclysmic upheaval, you don't see the big picture. This book provides that perspective, with stories of individual women's experiences and strength and persistence and the back story of the administration's resistance and also its few strong advocates for gender equality at Yale. Sadly, it also seriously tarnished my admiration for Kingman Brewster, who fought against women's admission in favor of the University's commitment to producing 1000 male leaders a year, until it was an untenable position.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.