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Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History

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From the authors of the New York Times bestselling book Rad American Women A-Z, comes a bold new collection of 40 biographical profiles, each accompanied by a striking illustrated portrait, showcasing extraordinary women from around the world.

In Rad Women Worldwide, writer Kate Schatz and artist Miriam Klein Stahl tell fresh, engaging, and inspiring tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. Featuring an array of diverse figures from Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica), this progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women's history.

112 pages, ebook

First published September 27, 2016

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About the author

Kate Schatz

16 books118 followers
Kate Schatz (pronounced ‘Shots’) is a queer feminist writer, activist, educator, and public speaker. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the "Rad Women" book series, including Rad American Women A-Z (City Lights, 2015), Rad Women Worldwide (Ten Speed Press, 2016), Rad Girls Can (Ten Speed Press, 2018), and Rad American History A-Z (Ten Speed Press, 2020). Her book of fiction, Rid of Me: A Story, was published in 2006 as part of the acclaimed 33 1/3 series. Her writing has been published in Oxford American, Denver Quarterly, Joyland, and West Branch, among others, and her short story “Folsom, Survivor” was included as a “Notable Short Story” in Best American Short Stories 2011. She has appeared on msnbc, NPR, and Conan O'Brien, among other major media outlets. She received her MFA in Fiction from Brown University, and a double BA in Women’s Studies/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. She lives with her wife and children in the Bay Area.

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5 stars
864 (51%)
4 stars
607 (36%)
3 stars
168 (10%)
2 stars
22 (1%)
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3 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 276 reviews
Profile Image for Anusha Narasimhan.
270 reviews257 followers
September 30, 2023
Reading about 40 rad women from around the world definitely lifts up a girl's spirit. If you thought that this is a man's world and women cannot reach places, this book will make you realize that women have done great things and can do so in the future as well.

Before reading this book, I knew only 10 of the 40 women listed. It was great to learn about others. This book left me with awe and an "I can reach my goals no matter what" attitude.

I did feel that a lot of amazing women were left out, but that is bound to happen when you try to fit in people from different fields and different parts of the world. Still, I did like the diversity and would highly recommend this book.

Note: I'd like to thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of this book. This review is my personal opinion and has not been influenced in any way.
Profile Image for Sara J. .
113 reviews436 followers
October 28, 2018
Últimamente veo que hacen muchos libros que tratan de visibilizar la figura de las mujeres y que están enfocados en los niños. Vale, pues veo esos libros y no puedo evitar ver cómo infantilizan a las mujeres o dan cabida a todo (lo siento, no veo como buen ejemplo a Margaret Thatcher. Sin embargo, este libro huye de todo eso: relata mujeres de todas partes del mundo y de todas las épocas realzando su labor y dándoles el valor que merecen. Le doy 5 estrellas porque, de verdad, he aprendido tanto y lo he disfrutado más que nada, ojalá hubiera tenido un libro así de pequeña.
Profile Image for Chessa.
723 reviews63 followers
September 20, 2016
Five stars! I loved this book. I consider myself fairly aware of famous women and women's history, but I was surprised and a bit embarrassed by how many featured women I was totally unfamiliar with! I was thrilled to learn about so many inspiring women from around the world. The book is written in an engaging and inspirational way. I really appreciated that the profiles were bite-sized; it was the perfect amount of information to introduce these amazing women - enough to feel like you gained some familiarity but you could certainly go on and learn more about them if you chose. I feel like this is a book that would be particularly great for kids - throw it on the coffee table and let them pick it up casually and read a few entries - it's very approachable that way. The art is really cool and draws the reader in to want to learn more. Schatz has done an excellent job! I would definitely buy this book for friends and family.
Profile Image for Tiffany Peña.
39 reviews13 followers
June 26, 2018
What the hell Goodreads? I'm writing this review for the second time because Goodreads decided not to upload it.

I believe that small details such as good grammar truly show the author's care for their craft and dedication. I was constantly putting missing commas and fixing mistakes in my head while reading this. A good editor and proofreader go a long way in any kind of text. To me, it was extremely distracting. Other than that, I also wish they had included the Mirabal sisters. Of course, that is very personal due to the fact that I am Dominican and was expecting to see them.

The book was pretty interesting and I liked the flow of it a lot. I wish they had added more women. At the end of the book, there is a section where they list more interesting women in history. I wish they had told their story too.

This book is great for young kids or anyone, really.
Profile Image for Lisa Fagan.
4 reviews4 followers
January 24, 2018
Profiles on a variety of women which history seldom celebrates.
A great started book for anyone questioning the power, fortitude, and intelligence of women.
Profile Image for Alexis  (TheSlothReader).
643 reviews274 followers
February 17, 2017
I really liked this collection of stories about famous women from all over the world. There were all types of inspirational women included in this collection. I really liked the emphasis on women of color and women from countries other than the US. My one issue was that the art in this did not work for me. I appreciated that the art was made with paper and an exacto knife, but it just didn't fit my tastes. I also think having photos of the women and/or their works would have been more effective.
Profile Image for Sarah Tonin.
103 reviews
August 11, 2016
YES. Yes. Yes.

Full Review:

As a woman and feminist, I was so proud while reading this book. Let me praise it from the rooftops and hand sell it to every girl, boy, mom, dad, relative, friend, you name it. Everyone could benefit from reading this.

I was devastated to discover I did not even know about most of these women before picking up this book. I felt myself longing to have had this book in my hands as a girl in school when it came time to pick the people I wanted to write my research papers on. When it’s published, you can bet I’m gonna be buying myself a copy to pass along to my children someday and will hand sell it at Christmas as such a beneficial book.

If you’re at all curious about the women included, pre-order a copy now. Here are some of the most badass mothers, social activists, astronauts, scientists, doctors, teachers, athletes, musicians, artists, suffragettes, queens, spies, and even a pirate! Imagine picking this up in school as a girl and realizing that the options for your career are ENDLESS and that no one can tell you what you can and can’t do. Each description is quite short, like a brief summary and biography of why this woman was/is a luminary and what she contributed to society. I wished they were longer, but it is really is just a gateway for you to learn the fast facts now and research more if you want to later. Also keep in mind it really is meant for a younger audience, but doesn’t alienate adults at all either. It’s nice to having something so short and yet empowering. Women seriously rock! I also was so happy to see diversity represented as well as giving women credit who lived so long ago (think: Ancient Egypt). At the back there’s a list of other rad women around the world divided up by country. I wish I could add some to the list, though it’s quite long as is.

In all, this book is well written, needed, and absolutely fabulous. The cut paper illustrations by Miriam Klein Stahl were an incredible as well and added a dynamic to even the women featured who lived thousands of years ago, and the quotes were also a marvelous addition. You will not regret reading this book. 5 stars, without a doubt.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Raquel.
76 reviews55 followers
June 16, 2018
Detallaré más en breve, pero este libro es genial (infinitamente mejor que "Cuentos de buenas noches para niñas rebeldes"). Me costará tener que devolverlo a la biblioteca.
Profile Image for Annamaria .
359 reviews55 followers
April 21, 2016
"What then is the evil in my being a woman?"
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Women are incredible! I've read this short book with a look of extreme awe on my face. I hadn't heard about many of the women mentioned in it and that's just a shame. Here the lives and achievements and basically badassery of mothers, teachers, political and environmental activists, football players, singers, artists, computer programmers, pirates (!), suffragettes, princesses, spies are described and it was such an enjoyable and entertaining read. The diversity element made it even more interesting. Seeing these people fighting against a political system that doesn't acknowledge them and against stereotypes that store them away in the house whilst the Men do the actual job was so inspiring. Now I've got a lot on my hands to research on my own and I cannot wait to discover more about these women and many others more.
Totally recommended!

I received this book from its publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku.
769 reviews48 followers
September 30, 2016
This is exactly the sort of book I hope to share with my future children.

A collection of 40 mini-biographies of real women who made a different all over the world, throughout the history of humanity, I didn't expect to read it all in one sitting. Yet, I couldn't help myself. Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History is the inspirational book I needed in my own personal library.

With only 40 stories to tell, Schatz does a wonderful job cherry-picking a diverse group of women. From Enheduanna (2285-2250 BCE Mesopotamia) to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Born 1977 Nigeria), these pages tell the stories of women who fought for what they believe in on some level. The idea is to share a piece of the thousands of stories around the world that women can do things too-- that women are also shaping history.

It's hard to pick my favorite biography, as there are so many fascinating ones. I loved reading about Hypatia (Egypt) , Queen Lili'uokalani (Hawai'i) , Birute Mary Galdikas (Germany) and the ENIAC Programmers (USA). But the story that sticks out to me the most is that of Grace "Granuaile" O'Malley: Irish sea captain, pirate, political strategist, chieftain, mother, wife, and daughter. When her son was falsely accused of treason Grace went to Queen Elizabeth to request she spare O'Malley's son. Surprisingly, Elizabeth I did see Grace, and the two of them came to an agreement in Latin, the only language the two of them shared. #Badass.

Miriam Klein Stahl makes her mark easily identifiable as the illustrator of this book. Instead of photographs (as there don't exist photographs of many of these women), Stahl created stylized renderings of these women creating extraordinary papercut illustrations. I would love to see these in real life. I certainly don't have that kind of X-Actio knife skills.

In this end, this was educational, fun, and an inspiring read. As I mentioned at the beginning, I never expected to read this book in one sitting, but I couldn't stop reading. I strongly recommend it to anyone interesting in feminism or biographies.
Profile Image for Beatriz.
344 reviews134 followers
July 28, 2019
Me lo regalaron por mi cumpleaños, porque si dices que eres feminista se ve que cualquier libro sobre mujeres vale como regalo, y mira, no.

Este libro me parece que está escrito más para niñas y chicas jóvenes que para mujeres que buscan ensayos más sesudos sobre feminismo. Es muy interesante conocer el nombre de tantas mujeres que han hecho que el mundo avance, pero las biografías son muy cortas y poco profundas para mi gusto. A parte, los dibujos me parecen horrorosos (que eso ha hecho que el libro me guste todavía menos).

En general, me gusta la labor del libro, pero yo hubiese necesitado un tochaco de 1.000 páginas mínimo para poder desarrollar sus biografías en más profundidad.
Profile Image for Sonia Crites.
168 reviews1 follower
October 10, 2016
A great look at some amazing women. In most cases they are little known. The writing is solid and the art work is really great. This is the perfect book to show the young girls in your life just how strong, bold, decisive, fearless and passionate women can be. Everyone should grab this book!
Profile Image for heather.
303 reviews3 followers
March 22, 2021
It's great to have an intro to important people in history that aren't the same names you hear over and over again. Finding this book that shared the lives of women from around the world and their impact on their community and/or world. I was not aware of many of these women and am so glad to learn about them.
Profile Image for Catherine.
Author 59 books127 followers
November 28, 2017
Good intro to a bunch of interesting women from around the world, some living, some from ages past. Would make an excellent holiday gift, just saying.
Profile Image for Katie.
11 reviews3 followers
December 10, 2017
I read a profile every night to my son and learned so much. Highly recommend this book for any reader.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,212 followers
December 7, 2016
A solid enough collective biography that is wonderfully inclusive. The information on each of the women is short enough to spark interest and encourage further reading. The illustrations are also pretty great throughout, with black and white sparseness still being able to capture the spirit of the individuals highlighted. I missed the initial note in the book about how it was organized (it's on the inside cover of the book with a map) and it made me as a reader really confused why the women were in such a strange order. That could have been made more obvious.

Likewise, some of the information wasn't...exactly as true as it's presented. And admittedly, this comes from having read far more about some of these women than I imagined in the last few months, but notes about how Marie and Iréne Curie were close aren't true, according to Conkling's book Radioactive!: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World. The problem in cutting information down so tightly and then incorporating a bit about their closeness does a bit of disservice for the nuances of their relationship; again, I know this because of having read far more than most, but it makes me wonder about some of the other bits presented that maybe were not necessary/as nuanced as they could have been (or not been included at all).

That all said, of the 500000 profiles of Josephine Baker I've read in these collective bios, this was the best one, by far, that really highlighted all of her life and career.

A great book you could hand any middle grade or high school reader, especially those eager to learn about great women from around the world and throughout history.
Profile Image for Tom.
346 reviews5 followers
December 21, 2017
RAD WOMEN WORLDWIDE is a very remarkable book. It is an account about numerous women in countless neighborhoods, institutions, cities and countries being systematically excluded, discriminated against, beat up, jailed and killed. All this, because of female’s basic, simple and natural desire to experience those inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and conversely many men’s need to control and dominate.
As a result, women are/have been too often vilified, persecuted, rejected and denied these inalienable rights. They are/were viewed as innately inferior, incapable except in bed, in the kitchen or with children. Ironically, many men are/were insensitive, uninformed and/or stupid. Males failed to realize that their own bias were/are robbing them of opportunities for experiencing love, sharing, companionship and good relationships with wife, mom, daughters and other females.

That the RAD women achieved what they did in countless countries throughout the world is truly remarkable and inspiring. I did not realize the extent of worldwide discrimination of females. It was an education for me and I strongly encourage/recommend this book for all men and women. In light of the current plethora of revelations of sexual abuse and misconduct, RAD WOMEN WORLDWIDE has become a most timely read. Both sexes need to expand their horizons and get beyond some long held stereotypical roles. 5 stars
Profile Image for Amanda .
727 reviews13 followers
February 8, 2019
I enjoyed reading about a bunch of strong, powerful women that I'd never heard about before. I especially liked the fact that the women featured weren't just white women from the U.S.

My only critique, and maybe this is just nitpicking, was that the bios were so abridged. Obviously, Schatz couldn't write in depth about each woman but the depth and complexity of writing seemed like this book should have been geared toward middle grade readers instead of adults. Especially after I got to the back page and read how much Schatz researched primary sources, interviews, and secondary and tertiary sources. I was left wanting to know more about each woman featured.

I enjoyed Stahl's paper cut illustrations. I thought they demonstrated her talent as an artist, using an art form that is fairly rare in book illustrations.
Profile Image for Keeley.
430 reviews
February 7, 2017
I LOVED this book! The short, concise installments make this a quick read for one sitting or fascinating little snippets to read as you can. I am so very proud to share a past full of women such as these.
Profile Image for Kony.
404 reviews243 followers
October 26, 2017
A fun little sampler of admirable Sheroes throughout history who have changed the world, each in her own way, representing various countries and cultures and talents. Appropriate for kids. Doesn't have the meat or grit or critical edge I'd be looking for as an adult reader. That said, the kid in me enjoyed it, and I may have learned a bunch of things I didn't know before. ("May have" because I'm not sure if all of those things are fact-checked.)
1 review
April 20, 2016
**Received ARC from NetGalley**

This is another great "Rad Women" book! The women in this book are diverse and their stories are told wonderfully, with each story being the perfect length to serve as a solid introduction and encourage further research. The illustrations are wonderful as well! Could this potentially be a series with more books to come? I sure hope so!
304 reviews5 followers
January 31, 2017
I enjoyed reading about such a diverse group of women and learned a lot about people who I had heard about, but had never really delved into more deeply. I'm going to share this book with grade 5 students doing PYP Exhibition and I'm keen to hear their feedback considering the climate of the world stage right now.
Profile Image for Carlie The Bookish Girl.
26 reviews8 followers
June 16, 2017
This review is originally posted on Carlie The Bookish Girl
4.5 stars.
“One can perfectly well philosophize while cooking supper.” — Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz in Answer to Sister Filotea

I was mindlessly browsing Book Depository’s bargain section when this book caught my eyes. Everything about this book appealed to me. Its vibrant colors, unique illustrations and the cool title, they made me click the ‘add to cart’ button in a split second.

It wasn’t until I was holding this book in my hands that I realized I didn’t know many stories of women that evoke great changes in history. When it came to influential men, I could name quite a lot. But women, only a few came to my mind. Thanks to this amazing book, now I get to know 40 stories about badass women from 30 countries. From ancient Mesopotamia to the modern time, this book showcases how women from all around the world overcome obstacles, fight for what they believe and refuse to be silenced.

With its easy-to-read layout, colorful illustrations, this book is not only informational but it also makes a perfect coffee table book. (Don’t even try to deny its beauty!) I love that every story is limited to 1 to 2 pages, and the writing is precise and concise so you won’t get bored but still you learn a lot. Every woman included is truly inspiring and empowering. They teach me that even when the world tells you no, you have to believe in yourself and keep chasing your dream. This message is so important that I think every human being, no matter you are a girl or a boy, should read this and find courage in these women’s stories.

If you need a little inspirations or courage to go through your hard day, pick up this book and I hope you’ll be as strong as these rad women worldwide.
Get your copy from Book Depository
Profile Image for Meg.
31 reviews
June 28, 2017
This was a really cool book. I bought it on a whim because anything with the phrase "rad women" will catch my attention. All the mini biographies on each of the 40 women were easy to read and informative. This book would probably be a great starting point for someone who is interested in reading more about women's history. The book covers women from 30 different countries across a variety of time periods. Each story comes with its own illustration. There's also a list at the end of the book of more rad women you can research if you want more. I'm glad a purchased this book. It was a quick but informative read.
Profile Image for Susana Matondo.
89 reviews2 followers
May 16, 2023
Menuda PASADA de libro, cuánto he aprendido!!! Conocía a poquísimas de estas mujeres y me han encantado sus historias, y cómo de conciso pero informativo está escrito. Definitivamente leeré este libro a mis hijas (e hijos también,) pero sobre todo a ellas porque creo que te deja una sensación muy poderosa en el pecho, como mujer: "si ellas pudieron, yo también podría".
Profile Image for Katherine.
22 reviews3 followers
August 8, 2017
I got this for my niece, but once I opened to the table of contents, I realized I had a lot to learn about rad women throughout history and loving now. It's a great read for anyone, but I think would have really made a big impact on me when I was younger. I hope it does for my niece!
Profile Image for Vanessa Funk.
369 reviews
November 10, 2020
Highly recommend - this book just gave me so many role models of amazing women - some that I knew already but quite a few that I didn't. Each women was described in 1-2 pages so it was just a taste of their lives and legacy and it makes me want to learn more.
1,368 reviews4 followers
March 11, 2017
I loved this book! I just read 40 stories about amazing women around the world!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 276 reviews

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