Since their emergence as a journalistic force after the world wars, women have continued to break new ground in newspapers and magazines, redefining the world as we see it as well as the craft as it applied. Many of the pieces in Journalistas feel almost unsettlingly relevant today—the conclusions Emma "Red" Goldman drew in her 1916, "the Social Aspects of Birth Control," Maddy Vegtel's 1930s article about becoming pregnant at forty, and Eleanor Roosevelt's call for greater tolerance after America's race riots in 1943.

Many have pushed other limits: Naomi Wolf's Beauty Myth brought feminism to a new generation; Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones caused a media revolution: Ruth Picardie's unflinchingly honest column about living with cancer in 1997 brought a wave of British candor and a host of imitators; and when two iconic women come face to face, we have at one end, Dorothy Parker on Isadora Duncan (1928), and at the other, Julie Burchill on Margaret Thatcher (2004).

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