For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Ladies For Liberty : Women Who Made a Difference in American History
  • John Blundell
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
Ladies For Liberty : Women Who Made a Difference in American History.
Sound Bite
John Blundell gives a lively portrait of more than 20 American women who spoke out for liberty, helping to shape the political and social fabric of the United States. His subjects range from frontier novelists to suffragists to the inventor of life insurance for women and a tax collector who challenged the IRS. Arranged chronologically, the stories add up to a history of America.

Ladies for Liberty combats the myth that women want, and benefit from, big government. The underlying motivation of the women portrayed in these pages was that self-determination is a virtue, and that individuals should be allowed to pursue their own ends, free from the coercion of others.

Note:
Responses to the first edition were so positive that in the fall of 2012, Mr. Blundell added five more of what he considers to be the best stories in US Women’s History, namely Anne Hutchinson, Clara Barton, Alice Paul, Rosa Parks, and Mildred Loving. They are included now in this volume.

About the Author

John Blundell is the author of Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady (NYC: Algora, 2008) and Waging the War of Ideas (London: IEA, 3rd revised and expanded edition 2007). He wrote the current work while a Visiting Fellow of The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC. He also serves as Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs, London, UK where he was Director General from 1993 through 2009.

He is a past President of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, Virginia and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Washington DC, and serves on both boards of directors. He is a past President of the Charles G Koch Foundation, Vice President of the Mont Pelerin Society and a former board member of the Philadelphia Society.

In 2010 he received an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Buckingham, UK and an honorary doctorate in social science from the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which also made him an Honorary Professor. He welcomes word of more ladies for liberty, dead or alive, American or non-American.

About the Book
With this collection of biographies, the author seeks to inform and inspire readers. We read so much about the Founding Fathers, but far less material has been made available to introduce the ladies, smart and strong in their own right, who have...
With this collection of biographies, the author seeks to inform and inspire readers. We read so much about the Founding Fathers, but far less material has been made available to introduce the ladies, smart and strong in their own right, who have helped to form the political as well as the social universe that we are proud to call America.

His selection focuses on women of Conservative/ Libertarian views, whether they were active in politics, business owners, writers or other cultural figures.

Black as well as white, these women were revolutionary, some directly influencing the colonial breakaway from great Britain, some fighting for Abolition, others breaking new ground professionally. Each one not only made women’s voices heard but made it clear that women have something to say that is both valid and valuable. 

This book is intended for American and British readers alike, high school and above, and all who are interested in American history, Conservative/ Libertarian politics, or Women's Studies.
Preface

It should come as no surprise that throughout the United States’ history, women have played an intrinsic (albeit, underappreciated) role in the movement for liberty. Women are caregivers; it is to be expected that they would be sensitive both...

It should come as no surprise that throughout the United States’ history, women have played an intrinsic (albeit, underappreciated) role in the movement for liberty. Women are caregivers; it is to be expected that they would be sensitive both to the needs of others as well as the effects of government policies on the most vulnerable. Yet all too frequently, the expansion of government services has been justified because such programs are for the “benefit of women.”

As such, Ladies for Liberty serves an important role in combating the myth that women want, and benefit from, big government. Although their actions may have varied, the underlying motivation of these many women was the same – that self-determination is a virtue, and that individuals should be allowed to pursue their own ends, free from the coercion of others. How different the nation would be today if these women did not stand up for what they believed in!

The grassroots activism of 2009 and 2010 demonstrate that individual liberty and personal responsibility are still values that resonate with American women. From Sarah Palin’s “mama grizzlies” to Tea Party organizers like Jenny Beth Martin, it has become abundantly clear that millions of American women have come to recognize that there are serious costs to a too big, intrusive, wasteful government. They understand that government is strangling private business with costly mandates, high taxes, and uncertainty about what rules businesses can expect to operate under in the future.

But how many of these women know that today’s political culture is only possible thanks to the groundwork lain by the Ladies for Liberty many years ago?

Modern-day tea party activists are following in the footsteps of activists like the Grimke sisters, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth, who bravely organized social movements in the face of tremendous odds. Political pundits are translating ideas to the people like Mercy Otis Warren, Rose Wilder Lane, and Clare Boothe Luce, who gave voice to the truth. And academics are standing upon the shoulders of intellectual giants like Rose Director Friedman, Isabel Paterson, and Jane Jacobs, who challenged conventional wisdom through their scholarship.

Women today do not face the same challenges that these brave ladies did, but they still must combat cultural pressures that highlight women’s weaknesses and encourage dependency. Affording women special treatment in order to “compete” - although well intentioned - is itself an insult, as it implies that women are not capable of doing so on their merits alone. At the end of the day, the true essence of feminism is to not be dependent on anyone else – not a husband, not a father, and not the government – because women are just as adept, clever, and skilled as their male counterparts.

Today, women have opportunities that previous generations could never have dreamed of; they are graduating from colleges in record numbers, opening businesses, and achieving positions of power from the Cabinet to the boardroom. Through technological advances, women are able to more easily balance work and home life – opening up additional possibilities for employment, activism, and education. Consider the options that Abigail Adams or Harriet Tubman faced, versus how a woman can live her life today. Our foremothers would be pleased to see how easily a modern woman can empower herself!

Accordingly, it becomes all the more imperative that we use the tools available to us to continue pressing for reforms that will truly benefit future generations – promoting personal responsibility, individual liberty, and free markets. Only a robust, dynamic economy will be able to provide women with the continued opportunities to choose their own path – be it as an entrepreneur, a writer, an activist, or something else. Women themselves should be allowed to make those decisions, however – not government bureaucrats.

John Blundell’s Ladies for Liberty serves as an important reminder of the struggles of our predecessors. The best way to honor their sacrifices is to carry on their work, and to teach our daughters that they, too, can make a difference in the lives of others.

Nicole Neily

Nicole Neily is the executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, a Washington DC-based think tank that focuses on educating the public about the benefits of economic liberty and limited government.


Table of Contents
Introduction Chapter 1. Mercy Otis Warren

Introduction

Chapter 1. Mercy Otis Warren

    Writer and Revolutionary

    September 14, 1728–October 19, 1814

Chapter 2. Martha Washington

    Revolutionary

    June 2, 1731–May 22, 1802

Chapter 3. Abigail Adams

    Revolutionary, Abolitionist, Women’s Rights Campaigner and Entrepreneur

    November 11, 1744–October 28, 1818

Chapter 4. The Grimke Sisters

    Anti-slavery and Women’s Rights Campaigners

    Sarah Moore Grimke, November 26, 1792–December 23, 1873

    Angelina Emily Grimke, February 20, 1805–October 26, 1879

Chapter 5. Sojourner Truth

    Slave, Abolitionist and Women’s Rights Activist

    Circa 1797–November 26, 1883

Chapter 6. Elizabeth Cady Stanton

    Advocate for Women’s Liberties

    November 12, 1815–October 26, 1902

Chapter 7. Harriet Tubman

    Slave, Underground Railroad Conductor, Abolitionist and Spy

    Winter 1822–March 10, 1913

Chapter 8. Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Novelist and Abolitionist

    June 14, 1811–July 1, 1896

Chapter 9. Bina West Miller

    Businesswoman

    1867–April 18, 1954

Chapter 10. Madam C J Walker

    Entrepreneur

    December 23, 1867–May 25, 1919

Chapter 11. Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane

    Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Author

    February 7, 1867–February 10, 1957

    Rose Wilder Lane

    Journalist, Author, Philosopher

    December 5, 1886–October 30, 1968

Chapter 12. Isabel Mary Paterson

    Writer, Mentor, and Political Theorist

    January 22, 1886–January 10, 1961

Chapter 13. Lila Acheson Wallace

    Magazine Publisher and Philanthropist

    December 25, 1889–May 7, 1984

Chapter 14. Vivien Kellems

    Entrepreneur and Tax Protestor

    June 7, 1896–January 25, 1975

Chapter 15. Taylor Caldwell

    Novelist

    September 7, 1900–August 30, 1985

Chapter 16. Clare Boothe Luce

    Writer, Editor, Politician, Diplomat

    April 10, 1903–October 9, 1987

Chapter 17. Ayn Rand

    Writer and Philosopher

    February 2, 1905–March 6, 1982

Chapter 18. Rose Director Friedman

    Economist, Author, Political Activist

    December 1911–April 18, 2009

Chapter 19. Jane Jacobs

    Writer and Urban Activist

    May 4, 1916–April 25, 2006

Chapter 20. Dorian Fisher

    Strategic Philanthropist

    September 14, 1919–April 3, 2007

Afterword

Ten Matters For Discussion

Further Reading

Acknowledgements

  


Excerpt
More Information
How did a British economist come to write a book about American women’s history? Read John's interview or watch his podcast at KosmosOnline.org, a project of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. John has been invited to speak on Ladies for Liberty...
How did a British economist come to write a book about American women’s history? Read John's interview or watch his podcast at KosmosOnline.org, a project of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. John has been invited to speak on Ladies for Liberty and his biography Margaret Thatcher, A Portrait of the Iron Lady, to audiences all across the US and from Guatemala to Toronto, and publishers are negotiating for foreign rights from Poland to China.

Reviews
“Through carefully chosen, dramatic vignettes that capture the essence of his subjects, John Blundell draws us into the exciting worlds of some 20 exceptional women, showing us how each one... | More »
“John Blundell offers a much needed complement to the traditionally male-dominated history of liberty, reminding us of the vital role American women have played – and continue to play... | More »
“John Blundell tracks through time to bring us stories of America’s bravest and most thoughtful women – a guidebook for lovers of liberty.” | More »
“The liberty-loving ladies profiled in this book are a fascinating group of courageous individuals whose ideas and actions changed the course of history. Kudos is due to John Blundell for... | More »
“John Blundell offers a glimpse into the lives of over 20 women from well known historical figures to many who might otherwise be forgotten. Sharing insights typically neglected in... | More »
“The secret for success for a book such as this is the choice of subjects and John Blundell has done a great job ranging from the Revolution to modern times, showing how women have... | More »
“John Blundell has done a superb job of identifying ladies who believed in the principles of liberty and a society based on free-market principles. Several are well known but others not so... | More »
“Ladies for Liberty is an inspiring read for any American, but especially for the scores of modern-day female patriots whose ways were paved by the outstanding women in this book.... | More »
“John Blundell has done a great service in reminding us of our intellectual foremothers who fought for liberty in the past. The inspirational life stories he shares offer valuable lessons for... | More »
“This book is at once both inspiring and instructive, offering a glimpse into the character and examples of American women who understood the cause of liberty and dedicated their lives to it.... | More »
The Freeman, 2012 | More »
Libertys Leading Ladies, in the journal Liberty Unbound | More »
Categories

Pages 230
Year: 2011
LC Classification: CT3260.B615 2011
Dewey code: 920.72--dc22
BISAC: HIS036000 HISTORY / United States / General
BISAC: BIO022000 BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-864-6
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-865-3
Price: USD 32.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-866-0
Price: USD 22.95
Available from

Search the full text of this book
Related Books
• Margaret Thatcher —   A Portrait of the Iron Lady
• Terrible Tsarinas —   Five Russian Women in Power