In the Company of Educated Women

A History of Women and Higher Education in America

Barbara Miller Solomon

View Inside Price: $27.00


September 10, 1986
336 pages, 6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 9780300036398
Paper

A leading authority in the field here provides the first synthetic and comprehensive history of women in American higher education in over fifty years.
“Essential reading for feminists and educators, appealing to general readers as well, this study joins familiar material with new insights gleaned from fiction, journals and the records of deans and dons.” –Publishers Weekly
“An absorbing history of women’s higher education in the United States.” –Patricia Meyer Spacks, The New Republic
“Will be invaluable to social historians or anyone interested in the education of women.” –Sue Beckwith, New Directions for Women
“An aid and resource for women to continue their struggle for equality, it is a work of both scholarship and inspiration.” –Jurgen Herbst, Reviews in American History
“[An] excellent history.” –Christine Bolt, Times Higher Education Supplement
“A major contribution to the exploration of women’s past.” –Joyce Antler, American Educator
“This marvelous and monumental book will be an enduring classic—a major contribution to our understanding of historical changes in the lives of American women during the past two hundred years.  It is a very human book, filled with humor as well as statistics, and it will be enjoyed by a general as well as an academic audience.” –Kathryn Kish Sklar

"Solomon's story, so thoughtfully carried down to the present, is one we have needed for a long time and certainly need now when the women's movement is no longer simply contemporary but a force of historical significance.  The book is engagingly written and deeply informed."—Carl N. Degler, Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University

"This excellent, meticulously researched study is the first comprehensive history of women's higher education in this country. It will immediately become the standard work in the field, and will be invaluable to social historians generally as well as to those especially interested in women or in education."—Anne Firor Scott, W.K. Boyd Professor & Chairman, Department of History, Duke University

"Tables, illustrations, and excerpts from letters, journals, and novels combine with the author's readable, thoughtful, and often amusing text to demonstrate the relationship between education and the possibility for change. . . .  (A) major contribution to women's studies and American history."—Booklist

"A solid, broad-ranging study of female students' changing attitudes and experiences. . . . (An) excellent reflection of the renewed interest in women's higher education."—Kirkus Reviews

"[An] excellent, comprehensive study of women's education. . . . Demonstrating a firm grasp of the arguments, Solomon emerges as an integrationist, believing that neither women's studying nor the study of women should be done in isolation.  This is the most thorough study of women's higher education since Mabel Newcomer's A Century Of Higher Education For American Women.  Essential for public and academic libraries."—Library Journal

"The broadest survey of American women's higher education written in this generation, Solomon's study is tremendously strong. It should become the starting point for scholarly and general readers asking questions about advanced schooling for women throughout history."—Choice

"Solomon has done a massive amount of research. . . . Her organization contributes to a balanced representation of the experiences of diverse groups. . . . This is a valuable book for educators and students alike."—Marie Olesen Urbanski, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A lively account of the struggle for women's education, based on students' letters and diaries and women's achievements over the last 200 years."—Phyllis Coons, Boston Globe

"An effective synthesis of material on the history of women's higher education in this country. . . . This study raises many of the important issues regarding women's education and provided a valuable foundation on which to explore those, and other issues, further."—June Sochen, Journal of American History

"Essential reading for feminists and educators, appealing to general readers as well, this study joins familiar material with new insights gleaned from fiction, journals and the records of deans and dons."—Publishers Weekly

"Solomon's absorbing history of women's higher education in the United States. . . . Solomon's continuing narrative intertwining social and education expectation reveals the sustained ambiguity of women's claims to autonomy even as females came to constitute an educational majority."—Patricia Meyer Spacks, New Republic 

"This marvelous and monumental book will be an enduring classic—a major contribution to our understanding of historical changes in the lives of American women during the past two hundred years. It is a very human book, filled with humor as well as statistics, and it will be enjoyed by a general as well as an academic audience."—Kathryn Kish Sklar, University of California, Los Angeles

"A comprehensive history of women's higher education in this country, it will be invaluable to social historians or anyone interested in the education of women."—Sue Beckwith, New Directions for Women

"The history in this book is so compelling and told in such detail one must constantly remind oneself that this is the history of a small minority within a minority."—Barbara Scotto, Wilson Library Bulletin

"Written for both the general and academic reader. . . . A perfectly balanced account of the often contradictory impulses and outcomes of nearly two centuries' experience of women's higher education. . . . It stands as a major contribution to the exploration of women's past."—Joyce Antler, American Educator

"Solomon traces the evolution of today's postfeminist college women, focusing on the experiences and attitudes of students from 1870, when the first great wave of women entered college, to the 1920s, when the modern college woman was born."—Wendy Kaminer, The Village Voice

"A historical approach toward the higher education of women, tracing it from the first academies to the growth of community colleges."—Julia M. Klein, Philadelphia Inquirer

"In The Company Of Educated Women demonstrates the breadth and complexity of women's college experience, and the necessity of telling its history broadly. . . . The book stands as a challenge to further scholarship."—Susan Strasser, Boston Review

"In The Company Of Educated Women comes to us as the first modern comprehensive account of college-educated women in the United States. An aid and resource for women to continue their struggle for equality, it is a work of both scholarship and inspiration. . . . Solomon's volume places itself in the tradition of committed scholarship: careful, extensive research and clearly announced direction and intent. It is not surprising why early reviewers should call it an enduring classic and standard work."—Jurgen Herbst, Reviews in American History

"Barbara Solomon's excellent history of women and higher education in America helps us to determine how opposition to it was eroded, what women made of their new opportunities, and what obstacles still remain. Her study ranges from colonial times to the present, and while building on the work of those who have focused on the institutions and individual educators, it has the great merit of surveying, through an impressive combination of literary and statistical sources, the overall experience of women who went to college. The author considers the motives that impelled them forward, the role of those who helped them, the associations they formed while at college and the routes they took on leaving."—Christine Bolt, Times Higher Education Supplement

"A splendid scholarly synthesis."—Marion Kilson, Radcliffe Quarterly

"A long-awaited work which is certain to earn an important place in the historiography of higher education for women. . . . Solomon offers . . . [A] detailed, complicated, and complete picture-in that she gives voice to heretofore unheard stories, such as those of Black and Jewish women students.  Moreover, she provides an account of women's experiences from the different vantage points of student, teacher, and administrator. . . . This is a beautifully illustrated and well-documented book. It has a balanced framework, and represents the beginning of a scholarship on women where all women's stories are told."—Patricia Bell-Scott, The Journal of Negro Education

"This long-awaited book traces women's pursuit of educational equity over three centuries. . . . Solomon's greatest contribution . . . is her synthesis of many institutional and regional histories with women's history. . . . [There] are new insights throughout."—Lee Chambers-Schiller, American Historical Review

"Solomon tells what is a deeply complex story marvelously well."—Nan Bauer Maglin, The NEA Higher Education Journal

"This is one of several recent works that, in returning to the study of women's public behavior, herald a transition in the field of women's history.  Solomon's achievement is that she does not simply refocus attention from the private to the public sphere but rather underscores the connections between the two."—Lee Chambers-Schiller, United States

"Solomon has created the new standard reference work for the field. . . . Solomon has successfully surveyed and synthesized women's encounter with liberal education from the colonial era to the present."—Lynn D. Gordon

"[A] substantial achievement. . . . This is a work reflecting sensitive conceptualization and many years of devoted, painstaking research."—Geraldine Joncich Clifford, History of Education Quarterly

"Drawing on a wealth of institutional histories and personal papers, Solomon cut across lines of class, race, religion and ethnicity to discover the similarities and differences in the college and post-college experience for women from diverse backgrounds and regions. . . . Dramatized the relationship between the public and private spheres in determining women's ability both to have access to and succeed in higher education. . . . In The Company Of Educated Women is the result of years of thorough and creative research in a wide variety of primary and secondary sources. It was a pleasure to read a history that wove statistical data so gracefully through the narrative and demonstrated such a keen sense of humor. The readable style, which is full of important information and new insights, will appeal to educational administrators and scholars as well as the general reader. This book—already considered a classic in its field—is must reading."—Cynthia J. Little, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

"A useful piece of work, both in the history of education and the history of women."—Donald F. Tingly, Illinois Historical Journal

"The book provides a wealth of factual information about institutions and personalities.  It carefully interweaves the facts with analytical themes focusing on the struggle for access to higher education, the impact of education on women's lives and the uneasy connection between women's academic progress and feminism. . . . A skillful synthesis which will undoubtedly become a classic."—Margaret Walsh, History

"What was needed, was a synthetic history of women and higher education infused with insights drawn from recent scholarship. Barbara Solomon has now provided that."—Joan N. Burstyn, Journal of Higher Education

"By offering a thoughtful and widely informed overview of the major themes in the development of American higher education for women, In the Company of Educated Women can serve as a historical introduction to many issues of interest to sociologists studying women and higher education today."—Therese L. Baker, Contemporary Sociology

"The great virtue of Solomon's book is its continual joining of women's educational experience to an analysis of women's roles in the larger society. . . . It should be essential reading for historians and general readers alike who are interested in women's education."—Joyce Antler, SIGNS

Winner of the American Educational Research Association’s 1986 Outstanding Book Award

Winner of the Association of American Colleges and Universities’s 1986 Frederic W. Ness Award (in honor of the President-Emeritus of the Association) for the most significant contribution to studies on liberal education

Awarded Honorable Mention for the Educator’s Award from the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, 1986