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Pamela Toler program transcript.pdf

Pamela Toler, Women Warriors: An Unexpected History

Author Pamela Toler visits the Museum & Library to discuss her book which details the stories of women who fought because they wanted to, because they had to, or because they could.

Who says women don't go to war? From Vikings and African queens to cross-dressing military doctors and WWII Russian fighter pilots, these are the stories of women for whom battle was not a metaphor.

The woman warrior is always cast as an anomaly--Joan of Arc, not GI Jane. But women, it turns out, have always gone to war. In this fascinating and lively world history, Pamela Toler not only introduces us to women who took up arms, she also shows why they did it and what happened when they stepped out of their traditional female roles to take on other identities.

Among the warriors you'll meet are Tomyris (ruler of the Massagetae), The West African ruler Amina, Boudica (led the Celtic tribes of Britain), The Trung sisters (Trung Trac and Trung Nhi) who led an untrained army of 80,000 troops to drive the Chinese empire out of Vietnam, and many more spanning from ancient times through the 20th century.

By considering the ways in which their presence has been erased from history, Toler reveals that women have always fought--not in spite of being women but because they are women.

PAMELA D. TOLER goes beyond the familiar boundaries of American history to tell stories from other parts of the world, as well as history from the other side of the battlefield, the gender line, or the color bar. She is author of The Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War, among other books. Her work has appeared in Aramco World, Calliope, History Channel Magazine, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and on