In the tradition of Composing a Life and Writing a Woman's Life, a look at the intimate and public lives of seven strong and vibrant women who had a lasting impact on American popular culture and on women's lives.In wanting to think through modern women's history, Susan Ware found herself drawn to seven larger-than-life women who influenced not only their professions—politics, journalism, anthropology, acting, sports, dance, and music—but also the way women saw themselves and their options in life. Ware recovers the people behind the legends of Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothy Thompson, Margaret Mead, Katharine Hepburn, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Martha Graham, and Marian Anderson in compelling life stories. She looks at how they created their persona, how they kept themselves in the public eye, and how they did so for so long. She also speaks to how these women balanced their personal lives—choosing lovers and mates and deciding whether to have children. In the choices they made and the success of those choices are lessons relevant to contemporary working women. As part of living exceptional and unconventional lives, they gave other women the ability to desire beyond the limits imposed on women and allowed them to dream and strive for lives of independence and fulfillment.