Leading Ladies

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Leading Ladies

Political women of the modern age

Although women have held political power for centuries, for the most part, they have inherited their offices.  In contemporary times, more women political leaders have risen through democratic processes.  Below is a selection of books about women heads of state.

Margaret Thatcher by Charles Moore
The subject of much criticism, the late Margaret Thatcher served as prime minister of the United Kingdom in the late twentieth century.  Her "tough as nails" reputation was well deserved, but she was praised for her personal integrity and authenticity.

Indira Gandhi by Katherine Frank
The daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, controversial and strong willed Indira Gandhi was a dictator who led India through a turbulent period.  She was especially adept at balancing the influences of the United States and the Soviet Union. Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.

Benazir Bhutto (autobiography)
Daughter of a prominent political family, Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was the first woman to hold a high political office in an Islamic nation. 

Angela Merkel by Matt Qvortrup
The conservative president of Germany, Angela Merkel grew up in the formerly communist state of East Germany.  Long considered one of the most effective of European heads of state, she is especially noted for her work on behalf of middle eastern refugees.

Madame President by Helene Cooper
Elected president of Liberia in 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was widely credited for establishing democratic rule in the country, ending the bloody reign of her predecessor, Charles Taylor.  A respected economist, Sirleaf worked tirelessly to bring peace and prosperity to the country.