Review: On This Day She: putting women back into history, one day at a time

Progressives are frequently accused of the desire to ‘cancel’, for example, by tearing down statues of slave traders or denying a speaking platform to those with unsavoury or dangerous opinions.

During a period where the Government can’t find time to legally award and report on multi-million pound contracts, it has found time to announce its intention to appoint a Free Speech Tsar. It appears that this upholder of our rights will be instructing universities on how they must play their part in this particular battle of the culture war. If our experience of this Government holds its course, their intervention is likely to be many things, but none of them connected with actually presenting or protecting historical truth.

The timing of the publication of this book by Tania Hershman, Ailsa Holland and Jo Bell, could not have been more perfect. Awareness of social invisibility must surely be on the rise. We can’t help but see and feel the challenges faced by so many people during the pandemic. For too long we have overlooked the contribution that some people, or groups of people make to our society and the largest and most notable of these invisible groups must be the influence of women in our history.

On This Day She started life as a Twitter project back in August 2017 and now enjoys 28,000 followers.

On This Day She (released 18 February 2021) profiles 366 women who have shaped our world. It includes fascinating insights into the lives of activists, adventurers and artists and then runs through the whole gamut of significant contribution to our history. It seeks not to re-write history but to put women back into their rightful place within it.

Don’t worry that it is some form of shrine to female perfection, as it includes fine examples of both the best and worst that humanity has to offer.

‘This day in history’ books can be quick and easy to enjoy, with one profile for each day of the year, but you might find that just like with box-set-binging, once you’ve started, you can’t stop.

If we are serious about representing people fairly and reporting history accurately, we need to know the full story. On This Day She helps you achieve just that.

Available as hardback, e-book and audiobook from your favourite independent bookshop or an online bookseller.

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