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.

Available now!

  • “In absorbing detail, Perkins describes the organizing efforts of those early years … [a] lively and engaging account of the college’s first class of female students.”

    New York Times
    Book Review
  • “This stunning, engaging work highlights the strength and courage of women who fought for their future against centuries of patriarchy.”

    Library Journal
    *Starred Review
  • “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.”

    Janet L. Yellen
    former Federal Reserve Chair, Brookings Institution Distinguished Fellow
  • “This beautifully written history provides a comprehensive view of the many social and political changes that faced the young college women of this era.”

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
    Harvard University Professor and Host of PBS’s Finding Your Roots

Did you Know?

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.

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About Anne

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