Cover Image: Sensational


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Member Reviews

Review published in print and online in Spectator,
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When I read the decimation, "For the Ink-Stained Amazons" I was hooked about the women of the early field of journalism. Where they started and how far we've come.
Back in the 1800's, when many young women came to the cities, looking for work, many were sent out on undercover assignments for newspaper giants like Hearst and Pulitzer. 
As dangerous as the assignments were, these amazing women exposed the horrifying practices of child labor, working conditions in factories, women's rights (or lack there of). 
Their courageous (and underpaid) works pushed for change and social awareness, and by doing so, they redefined journalism. 
It's a great history lesson and one we should be teaching in schools.  

*I appreciate an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
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Sensational by Kim Todd is a really interesting women's history book about reporters during the late 1880s.  The book is detailed and its obvious that Todd is a great researcher.  There is a lot of social justice history included in the book and some of the 'stunts' by women reporters involved very sad and stressful episodes for the average woman during the time, such as physical and mental health 'care'.   After reading this book, I looked up the author to read her other books.  The book is emotional and stressful but a great overview of women reporters during the 1880s and 1890s.
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Wonderfully researched, impeccably sourced, and still, wonderfully readable! 

Thank you so much good NetGalley people, for the chance to read an ARC. This is a magnificent book. Highly recommended!

(I learned so much ~ and I've read Brooke Kroeger's massive tome on Nellie Bly!)

“But like the formation of the American Medical Association with its explicit goal of discrediting midwives; and the institutionalization of the natural sciences, which labeled many women 'amateur naturalists,' while men grabbed government and university jobs as botanists, entomologists, and astronomers; the change erected financial and cultural barriers for all women and racial barriers for those who weren't white.”

“It wasn't until 1975 that the Supreme Court ruled states couldn't create laws that discouraged women from participation on juries and 1994 when peremptory challenges based solely on sex were outlawed.”
~ Kim Todd, Sensational: The Hidden History of America's “Girl Stunt Reporters"
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I'm a bit torn about this book since the premise is great and some of the info is new and interesting to me. A lot of it seems to be rehashing very very famous women/girl reporters, like Nellie Bly, and including a bunch of side topics. There might be a few too many ideas in this book. 

I received this book for free in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own.
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This book was very eye-catching and I learned a lot from each story. I am not sure I would be able to teach from the whole book, but I would definitely pick out a few stories to highlight.
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Kim Todd has done a sensational job of presenting the women journalists of the late 19th century. I ended the book wanting more! I recently read Citizen Reporters and was intrigued by Ida Turnbull, but now I have to add The GIrl Reporter, Nellie Bly, Ida B Wells, and myriad others to my list. Keep up the good work, Kim.
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I first heard about this book in late 2019 and was excited to see it here on NetGalley. It is an interesting read on the girl stunt reporters and at the same time can stand as an historical record to highlight how women are still having to deal with the same issues today that were prevalent of the later part of the 1800's and early 1900's.
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From the days of Nellie Bly and the still mysterious Girl Reporter through the dawn of yellow journalism and on to a brief survey of modern undercover journalism. We meet true stunt reporters just trying to get a paying gig, as well as activist crusaders...all fascinating ladies.
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In Sensational, Kim Todd explores the role of female journalists, beginning with “girl stunt reporters” in the late 1800’s through investigate journalists working today. Todd focuses on the details of several stunt reporters’ lives, weaving their stories through the larger history of the role of women in journalism.

First of all, the topic is fascinating. The ways in which these women went undercover to get their stories was incredibly brave (and occasionally reckless). I did not know much, if anything, about this topic, and I really enjoyed learning from Todd’s research. Her comparisons between some instances of the label “yellow journalism” with today’s “fake news” label were especially thought-provoking.

At times, I did find it difficult to immerse myself within the writing because the book’s structure felt a bit disconnected. Todd narrowly focuses on one reporter, then quickly shifts to another. I did struggle a bit at the beginning to keep up with which journalist was doing what. Overall, however, the information was interesting, and I appreciated learning about these women’s roles in history. 

If you’re interested in stories about women overcoming obstacles to succeed in male-dominated fields, check this one out!
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