Undergraduate students in Dr. Mercier’s Women’s History course loved Michael Helquist’s book about the fiery and uncompromising radical physician Marie Equi. Students not only find Equi fascinating—a professional woman in a man’s world, an open lesbian, a committed activist for the causes affecting women and workers—but they especially connect to someone who lived in their own backyard of the Pacific Northwest. Helquist’s balanced, gracefully written, and accessible study pieces together scattered sources to tell a terrific story, one that introduces students to important themes of early 20th century, such as the Progressive era, suffrage movements, the IWW and workers’ struggles, the Red Scare, women’s social and political networks, and women’s health issues and illegal abortion. This is a book that will be useful to teachers and professors wishing to engage a wide variety and level of students.
Michael Helquist provided a detailed report of his visit to Washington State University Vancouver and his interaction with the students of HIST/WST 298. Take a look at his kind words here.