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Yale Needs Women

How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant

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Overview

WINNER OF THE 2020 CONNECTICUT BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION AND NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS FOR BOOK CLUBS IN 2021 BY BOOKBROWSE

"Perkins' richly detailed narrative is a reminder that gender equity has never come easily, but instead if borne from the exertions of those who precede us."—Nathalia Holt, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls

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 winter 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.

"Yes, Yale needed women, but it didn't really want them... Anne Gardiner Perkins tells how these young women met the challenge with courage and tenacity and forever changed Yale and its chauvinistic motto of graduating 1,000 male leaders every year."—Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt

Product Details

  • Size: Hardcover - 6 in x 9 in; Paperback - 5.50 in x 8.25 in
  • Pages: Hardcover - 400; Paperback - 384
"This stunning, engaging work highlights the strength and courage of women who fought for their future against centuries of patriarchy. Perfect for readers interested in seeing how far women have come—and how far they still have yet to go." — Library Journal, STARRED review
"This smart, lively first book by Perkins, a higher education scholar and Yale graduate, challenges a "sanitized tale of equity instantly achieved" when the elite university, after 268 years, admitted female undergraduates in 1969... Perkins succeeds admirably in restoring these women's fascinating voices and weaving in the larger historical context. This is a valuable contribution to the history of higher education, women, and the postwar U.S." — Publishers Weekly
"Perkins (Yale class of 1981) does not sugarcoat history, the 360-degree approach she takes makes Yale Needs Women an engaging, entertaining, thoughtful work of popular history." — Booklist

"lively and engaging account of the college's first class of female students,.." — The New York Times

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