Gender and Sexuality in American History Reading List


  1. One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Women’s Suffrage Movement by Marjorie Spruill Wheeler
  2. The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America by Ruth Rosen
  3. Daring To Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America 1967-1975 by Alice Echols
  4. Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest by Stacey M. Robertson
  5. Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement & the New Left by Sara Evans
  6. Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings by Miriam Schneir
  7. American Jewish Women’s History: A Reader by Pamela S. Nadell
  8. Betsy Ross and the Making of America by Marla R. Miller
  9. Martha Washington: An American Life by Patricia Brady
  10. Sarah Childress Polk: A Biography of the Remarkable First Lady by John Bumgarner
  11. A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation By Catherine Allgor
  12. Women Adrift: Independent Wage Earners in Chicago, 1880-1930 by Joanne J. Meyerowitz
  13. Feminism in Our Time: The Essential Writings, World War II to the Present by Miriam Schneir
  14. No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women by Estelle Freedman
  15. U.S. History As Women’s History: New Feminist Essays by Linda K. Kerber (Editor), Alice Kessler-Harris (Editor), Kathryn Kish Sklar (Editor)
  16. The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America by Mae Ngai
  17. Born for Liberty by Sara Evans
  18. Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement by Sally McMillen
  19. The Road to Seneca Falls: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the First Woman’s Rights Convention by Judith Wellman
  20. The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898 by Lisa Tetrault
  21. The American Women’s Movement, 1945-2000: A Brief History with Documents by Nancy MacLean
  22. Women’s Rights Emerges within the Anti-Slavery Movement, 1830-1870 by Kathryn Kish Sklar
  23. Civil War Nurse: The Diary and Letters of Hannah Ropes by Hannah Ropes
  24. Kate: The Journal of a Confederate Nurse by Kate Cumming
  25. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  26. A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  27. The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  28. Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich 
  29. City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860 by Christine Stansell
  30. Women’s America: Refocusing the Past by Linda K. Kerber
  31. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America by Linda K. Kerber
  32. Major Problems in American Women’s History by Mary Beth Norton
  33. Liberty’s Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800 by Mary Beth Norton
  34. Women and the National Experience by Ellen Skinner
  35. Homeward Bound: American Families In The Cold War Era by Elaine Tyler May
  36. Common Sense and a Little Fire: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965 by Annelise Orleck
  37. Alice Paul and the American Suffrage Campaign by Katherine H Adams and Michael L Keene
  38. A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot by Mary Walton
  39. Abigail Adams by Woody Holton
  40. Century of Struggle: The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United States by Eleanor Flexner
  41. Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol by Nell Irvin Painter
  42. Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History by Milton C. Sernett
  43. Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion by Jean H. Baker
  44. Votes for Women: The Struggle for Suffrage by Jean H. Baker
  45. Women In American Society: An Introduction to Women’s Studies by Virginia Sapiro
  46. Ida Tarbell: Portrait of a Muckraker by Kathleen Brady
  47. Revolutionary Mothers: Women and the Struggle For American Independence by Carol Berkin
  48. Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton
  49. The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement: 1890-1920 by Aileen S. Kraditor
  50. Sisters: The Lives of America’s Suffragists by Jean H. Baker
  51. Nellie Taft: The Unconventional First Lady of the Ragtime Era by Carl Sferrazza Anthony
  52. Ellen and Edith: Woodrow Wilson’s First Ladies by Kristie Miller
  53. Women and the Texas Revolution by Mary L. Scheer (Editor)
  54. Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography by Jean Harvey Baker
  55. Grace Coolidge: The People’s Lady in Silent Cal’s White House by Robert H. Ferrell
  56. First Lady Florence Harding: Behind the Tragedy and Controversy by Katherine A. S. Sibley
  57. Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an Independent Women’s Movement in America, 1848-1869 by Ellen Carol Dubois
  58. Ar’n’t I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South by Deborah Gray White
  59. The Plantation Mistress: Woman’s World in the Old South by Catherine Clinton
  60. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
  61. Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese
  62. A Shining Thread of Hope by Darlene Clark Hine and Kathleen Thompson
  63. Civil War Wives by Carol Berkin
  64. Woman Suffrage and Women’s Rights by Ellen DuBois
  65. Suffragists in an Imperial Age: U.S. Expansion and the Woman Question, 1870-1929 by Allison L. Sneider
  66. Harriot Stanton Blatch and the Winning of Woman Suffrage by Ellen Carol DuBois
  67. The Grounding of Modern Feminism by Nancy F. Cott
  68. My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habegger
  69. Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero by Kate Clifford Larson
  70. Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure: Working Women, Popular Culture, and Labor Politics at the Turn of the Twentieth Century by Nan Enstad
  71. Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920 by Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore
  72. Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars by Kristin L. Hoganson
  73. Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching by Crystal N. Feimster
  74. At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance by Danielle L. McGuire
  75. The Spectacular Modern Woman: Feminine Visibility in the 1920s by Liz Conor
  76. Traces Of A Stream: Literacy and Social Change Among African American Women by Jaqueline Jones Royster
  77. An American Triptych : Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich by Wendy Martin
  78. Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-1960 by Joanne Meyerowitz
  79. Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars: Life and Culture on the Lower East Side 1890-1925 by Elizabeth Ewen
  80. Immigrant Women by Maxine Schwartz Seller
  81. Erin’s Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century by Hasia R. Diner
  82. Women’s Magazines, 1940-1960: Gender Roles and the Popular Press by Nancy A. Walker
  83. Women’s America: Refocusing the Past by Linda K. Kerber, Jane Sherron De Hart and Cornelia H. Dayton
  84. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
  85. Shaping Our Mothers’ World: American Women’s Magazines by Nancy A. Walker
  86. The Girl on the Magazine Cover: The Origins of Visual Stereotypes in American Mass Media by Carolyn Kitch
  87. Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation by Judith Mackrell
  88. Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern by Joshua Zeitz
  89. Writing Red: An Anthology of American Women Writers, 1930-1940 by Charlotte Nekola (Editor), Paula Rabinowitz (Editor)
  90. Posing a Threat: Flappers, Chorus Girls, and Other Brazen Performers of the American 1920s by Angela J. Latham
  91. Flappers and the New American Woman: Perceptions of Women from 1918 Through the 1920s by Catherine Gourley
  92. Fallen Women, Problem Girls: Unmarried Mothers and the Professionalization of Social Work, 1890-1945 by Regina G. Kunzel
  93. Delinquent Daughters: Protecting and Policing Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States, 1885-1920 by Mary E. Odem
  94. The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler
  95. Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier by Linda Peavy
  96. The Gentle Tamers: Women of the Old Wild West by Dee Brown
  97. The Women’s West by Susan Armitage and Elizabeth Jameson
  98. Westering Women and the Frontier Experience, 1800-1915 by Sandra L. Myres
  99. Covered Wagon Women by Kenneth L. Holmes
  100. Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey by Lillian Schlissel
  101. Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier by Joanna Stratton
  102. Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England by John Putnam Demos
  103. Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum
  104. In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 by Mary Beth Norton
  105. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia by Kathleen M. Brown
  106. Harlots, Hussies, and Poor Unfortunate Women: Crime, Transportation, and the Servitude of Female Convicts, 1718-1783 by Edith M. Ziegler
  107. The Puritan Family: Religion and Domestic Relations in Seventeenth-Century New England – by Edmund S. Morgan
  108. American Jezebel by Eve LaPlante
  109. The Rise of Women’s Transnational Activism: Identity and Sisterhood Between the World Wars by Marie Sandell
  110. The Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights by Brenda Murphy


  1. The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman
  2. Making Gay History: The Half Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights by Eric Marcus
  3. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
  4. A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski
  5. Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present by Neil Miller
  6. Surpassing the Love of Men by Lillian Faderman
  7. Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low by C. Riley Snorton
  8. To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done For America by Lillian Faderman
  9. Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America by Carroll Smith-Rosenberg
  10. The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America by Margot Canaday
  11. The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture by John D’Emilio
  12. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America by Lillian Faderman
  13. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 by George Chauncey
  14. Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. by Jonathan Ned Katz
  15. A Desired Past: A Short History of Same-Sex Love in America by Leila J. Rupp
  16. Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 by Nan Alamilla Boyd
  17. Second Son: Transitioning Toward My Destiny, Love and Life by Ryan Sallans
  18. Finding Out: An Introduction to LGBT Studies by Deborah T. Meem, Michelle A. Gibson and Jonathan Alexander
  19. Ethics Of Marginality: A New Approach to Gay Studies by John Champagne
  20. Queering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature, and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay History by Scott Herring
  21. The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation? by Craig A Rimmerman
  22. The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts
  23. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts
  24. Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter
  25. Faggots by Larry Kramer
  26. Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir by Paul Monette
  27. Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing by Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr.
  28. Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival by Sean Strub
  29. Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America by Jeff Chu
  30. Stonewall by Martin Duberman
  31. Cures: A Gay Man’s Odyssey by Martin Duberman
  32. Gay L. A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians by Stuart Timmons Lillian Faderman
  33. Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism by Scott Herring
  34. Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries by Karen Tongson
  35. Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit by Marlon M. Bailey
  36. Aberrations In Black: Toward A Queer Of Color Critique by Roderick A. Ferguson
  37. Disidentifications: Queers Of Color And The Performance Of Politics by José Esteban Muñoz
  38. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives by Judith Halberstam
  39. Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
  40. Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb
  41. Love Stories: Sex between Men before Homosexuality by Jonathan Ned Katz
  42. Queer Cowboys: And Other Erotic Male Friendships in Nineteenth-Century American Literature by Chris Packard
  43. Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest by Will Fellows (Editor)
  44. Warhol: The Biography by Victor Bockris
  45. Andy Warhol: A Biography by Wayne Koestenbaum
  46. The Transgender Studies Reader (2 volumes) by Susan Stryker (Editor), Stephen Whittle (Editor)
  47. An Archive of Hope: Harvey Milk’s Speeches and Writings by Harvey Milk
  48. Just Queer Folks: Gender and Sexuality in Rural America by Colin R. Johnson
  49. Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence by Christina B. Hanhardt
  50. Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco by Clare Sears
  51. Transgender History by Susan Stryker
  52. Long Before Stonewall: Histories of Same-Sex Sexuality in Early America by Thomas A. Foster (Editor)
  53. Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago before Stonewall by Sukie de la Croix
  54. Just Queer Folks: Gender and Sexuality in Rural America by Colin R. Johnson
  55. You’re Not from Around Here, Are You?: A Lesbian in Small-Town America by Louise A. Blum
  56. Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II by Allan Bérubé
  57. The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government by David K. Johnson
  58. One of the Boys: Homosexuality in the Military During World War II by Paul Jackson
  59. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr
  60. Pink Triangle: The Feuds and Private Lives of Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and Famous Members of Their Entourages by Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince
  61. Merv Griffin: A Life in the Closet by Darwin Porter
  62. Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History by Leila J. Rupp and Susan K. Freeman
  63. LGBTQ Youth and Education: Policies and Practices by Cris Mayo
  64. LGBT Youth in America’s Schools by Jason Cianciotto and Sean Cahill
  65. Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School by C. J. Pascoe


  1. Queer Theory: An Introduction by Annamarie Jagose
  2. Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America by John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman
  3. Documenting Intimate Matters: Primary Sources for a History of Sexuality in America by Thomas A. Foster (Editor)
  4. Major Problems in the History of American Sexuality: Documents and Essays by Kathy Peiss (Editor)
  5. A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory by Nikki Sullivan
  6. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others by Sara Ahmed
  7. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler
  8. Attitudes Toward Sex in Antebellum America: A Brief History with Documents by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz
  9. The History of Sexuality (3 volumes) by Michel Foucault
  10. Mad for Foucault: Rethinking the Foundations of Queer Theory by Lynne Huffer
  11. Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
  12. Sex, Self and Society: The Social Context of Sexuality by Tracey Steele
  13. Queer Studies: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Anthology by Brett Beemyn (Editor), Michele Eliason (Editor)
  14. Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity by Matt Bernstein Sycamore
  15. Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category by David Valentine
  16. Feminist, Queer, Crip by Alison Kafer
  17. Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race by Ellen Samuels
  18. Female Masculinity by Judith Halberstam
  19. In a Queer Time and Place by Judith Halberstam


  • Journal of the History of Sexuality – University of Texas Press
  • GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies – Duke University Press
  • Gender and Society – Sage Publications
  • Journal of Marriage and Family – University of Florida
  • Social Forces – Oxford University Press
  • A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press