Four Labor Day Must-Reads by Women Political Writers

Barbara Lee
Aug 25, 2016 · 3 min read

A sure sign that summer is winding down? It’s almost Labor Day. Next thing you know, the leaves will start to change, the wind will become brisk, and we’ll all be heading to the polls to (hopefully) elect our first woman president!

Political reporting this presidential cycle has been especially exciting with the possibility of a history-making year. Plus, there are many more women covering the campaign action this time around. That’s not to say there’s no gender gap left in reporting (62.1% of news was generated by men in 2014), but no longer are campaign buses, planes, and press boxes “boys only.”

NBC-TV depends on women for their on-the-trail reporting. Hillary Clinton’s traveling press corps is overwhelming female, and one of my favorite profiles of Clinton so far was written by Ruby Cramer at Buzzfeed. Irina Aleksander at Vogue recently asked: “Have Female Journalists Ended the Boys-on-the-Bus Era of Campaign Reporting?” Based on the top-notch reporting I’ve seen, it’s clear we’re making progress.

Unsurprisingly, great women journalists often also write great books. Before the last days of beach reading slip away, look for these must-reads by dynamic voices that are changing the conversation:

Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works

By Jay Newton-Small

When women are included (or, more accurately, fight their way in), they make things happen. Through interviews with women power-brokers, Jay Newton-Small details exactly how women are using their new-found power to change things for the better.

Alone atop the Hill: The Autobiography of Alice Dunnigan, Pioneer of the National Black Press

By Alice Dunnigan

Alice Dunnigan was both the first African-American female correspondent to receive White House credentials and the first to be a member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. She was nothing short of a trailblazer, and this newest edition of her autobiography, edited by Carol Booker, offers a glimpse of how Dunnigan paved the way for future generations.

All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation

By Rebecca Traister

The proportion of American women who aren’t married is rising- what does that mean for the future of our county? History tells us that single women have the power to enact change, and Rebecca Traister explores their impact with this book.

First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies

By Kate Anderson Brower

The role of First Lady is one that has evolved as America has evolved, with each spouse taking on different roles in presidential administrations. With the possibility of a First Gentleman on the horizon, Kate Anderson Brower offers a historical perspective on this important position in the White House and how it’s changed.

Each of these writers has given a voice to the stories of women. For too long, women have been a footnote on the pages of history, but, thanks in large part to women journalists, the contributions of women are finally beginning to get the credit they deserve.

Barbara Lee

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Electing women, strengthening democracy.