Should horseless carriages be powered by electricity, steam engines, or gasoline? An odd question today, but at the dawn of the 20th century it was a very real debate. Even the name ‘automobile’ was scoffed at, many people preferring terms like ‘Motor Vehicle,’ ‘Autogo,’ or ‘Kinetic.’ Motor Girls is peppered with fascinating tidbits like these as it presents a comprehensive history of the relationship between women and cars. From Alice Ramsey, the first woman to drive coast to coast, to Danica Patrick, this is a history of automobiles and their drivers as you’ve never seen before chronicling the evolution of driving laws, technology, and design, alongside profiles of relevant women. Aspiring mechanics, car enthusiasts, and racing fans will no doubt be engrossed and inspired but the narrative format with its cohesive, visually appealing, design that smoothly incorporates a plethora of primary source images ensures any casual reader will be equally entertained. From racing to road trips to women’s rights, Sue Macy’s Motor Girls has it all.  Though the text is broken up nicely, there is still a lot of it, which combined with some challenging vocabulary could be off-putting for reluctant readers. Overall it’s an attractive, informative book with a refreshing take on history, or should I say, herstory.

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