In a series of skillfully drawn biographical portraits, United States senator and bestselling author Kay Bailey Hutchison examines the lives of sixty-three pioneers in military service, journalism, public health, social reform, science, and politics—all American women. From the courtroom to the halls of Congress, these female trailblazers have battled tremendous odds to achieve success—if not always recognition—in their respective fields. Senator Hutchison, a trailblazer herself, became the first woman from the state of Texas elected to the United States Senate.
Following in the footsteps of her bestselling book American Heroines, Senator Hutchison continues to celebrate female accomplishment in all walks of life. Whether committed to a chosen cause or thrust into a public role by personal circumstance, the women profiled in Leading Ladies have all woven thin threads of opportunity into sweeping tapestries of achievement. Without their spirit and perseverance, many of the obstacles they so daringly conquered might still remain in place today. Gerti Cori's Nobel Prize victory in 1947 enabled other female scientists like Rita Levi-Montalcini to pursue their own research interests. Pearl Buck's bestselling novels made it possible for authors like Amy Tan to expand the boundaries of the American literary canon even further. Susan B. Anthony's indefatigable efforts to win women the right to vote allowed Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Mary Bono, and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao to eventually rise to some of the highest offices in the nation.
Mixing historical portraits with modern success stories, Senator Hutchison shows how American women from all periods of history have contributed to the strength and progress of our nation. With courage, purpose, and compassion, the women of Leading Ladies continue to blaze trails for thousands of American women to follow—and no history of the nation can be written without them.
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Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison grew up in La Marque, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 1990 she was elected Texas state treasurer, and in 1993 she was the first woman elected to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. In 2006 she was elected chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, becoming one of the top four leaders of Senate Republicans and the only woman. She lives in Dallas with her husband, Ray, and their daughter and son, Bailey and Houston.From Publishers Weekly:
Texas senator Hutchison follows American Heroines with an inspiring volume that highlights women who helped to pave the way for subsequent generations. It includes obligatory profiles of suffragists and First Ladies, but the book's merit is in the sketches of women who have made significant contributions to the arts and sciences, as well as those who made inroads in areas historically dominated by men-battlefields and boardrooms among them. A chapter on women in the military looks at women who have fought in wars dating back to the revolution, while a wide array of women's contributions to public health get a nod in another chapter. Profiles of novelists such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Pearl S. Buck, Toni Morrison and Amy Tan are fascinating, though readers may find themselves flipping past the sections dedicated to women who have won household name status (Susan B. Anthony, Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy and the like). There's enough here to pique almost any reader interested in women's history.
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