In September 1969, the U.S. women’s movement was just beginning. The phrase “sexual harassment” had not yet been invented. The Black Power movement was changing how Americans saw race. The youth movement was forcing the nation to take notice of how the next generation saw the world.
And into that moment stepped the first women undergraduates at Yale.
“A riveting and uplifting account of the experiences of Yale’s early women coeds—first admitted in 1969 … This inspiring book is a ‘must read’ for everyone.”
“This beautifully written history provides a comprehensive view of the many social and political changes that faced the young college women of this era.”
“The powerful history of a group of young women bold enough to reshape undergraduate education.”
“This stunning, engaging work highlights the strength and courage of women who fought for their future against centuries of patriarchy.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Yes, Yale needed women but it didn’t really want them … In her compelling account of the tumultuous early years, Anne Gardiner Perkins tells how these young women met the challenge with courage and tenacity.”
“Perkins tackles the discrimination these brave young women of Yale faced, the tremendous sexism and racism of the time, with stories that will make this #METOO generation shudder and rage.”
From where we sit today, it hardly seems possible that up until 1969, the vast majority of America’s top colleges still refused entry to women. Yet the list of campuses that banned women undergraduates back then reads like an academic who’s who: from Amherst, Boston College, and Bowdoin at the start of the alphabet, to West Point, Williams, and Yale at its end.More Extras
Anne Gardiner Perkins, PhD, is an award-winning historian, a graduate of Yale University, and a Rhodes Scholar. She spent more than five years interviewing the women of Yale and digging through the archives to tell their story. Read more