Dorothy Parker observed, “It’s a man’s world;” the ladies profiled in Women Who Launch would beg to differ. Unlike the matrons of the 1950s-the women who lunched-these kick-ass females left their DNA in the annals of time. Julia Ward-Howe showed what’s good for the goose is good for the gander when she created the Girl Scouts of America. Sara Joseph Hale-authoress of Mary had a Little Lamb- convinced Lincoln to launch a national day of thanks while Anna Jarvis persuaded President Wilson to initiate a day in tribute of mothers. The tradition of these Mothers of Invention continued when, compliments of knitter Krista Suh, the heads of millions were adorned with pink, pussy-cat ears. These women who launched prove-in the words of Rosie the Riveter, “We can do it!”
When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in South Africa’s brutal Robben Prison, he tirelessly turned to the poem Invicitus. The inspirational verse was by the Victorian William Ernest Henley, penned on the occasion of the amputation of his leg. Still I Rise takes its title from a work by Maya Angelou and it resonates with the same spirit of an unconquerable soul, a woman who is captain of her fate. Just as Invicitus brought solace to generations so does the contemporary classic. It embodies the strength of character of the women profiled. Each chapter will outline the fall and rise of great ladies who smashed all obstacles, rather than let all obstacles smash them. The book offers hope to those undergoing their own Sisyphean struggles. The intrepid women are the antithesis of the traditional damsels in distress; rather than waiting for the prince they took salvation into their own hands. Women celebrated in the book include Madame C. J. Walker-first female American millionaire, Aung San Suu Kyi-Burma’s first lady of freedom, Betty Shabazz-civil rights activist, Nellie Sachs-Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize recipient, Selma Lagerlof-first woman Nobel Laureate, Fannie Lou Hamer-American voting rights activist, Bessie Coleman-first African-American female pilot, Wilma Randolph-first woman to win three gold medals, Sonia Sotomayor-first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, Wangari Maathai-Nobel Prize winner, Winnifred Mandela-freedom fighter, Lois Wilson-founder of Al-Anon, Roxanne Quimby-co-founder of Burt’s Bees. From the Book: "Still I Rise Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014 You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. I rise I rise I rise."