Degrees of Separation in “A Woman’s Place” – The March 25, 2018 New York Times Sunday Book Review

March 24, 2018


My friend Nell Scovell has a new book out about the triumphs and travails of her life so far as a woman who writes TV comedy. Have you seen it?



The March 25, 2018 Sunday New York Times Book Review splayed it over a page in its supremely woman-focused  issue, titled “A Woman’s Place.”



Here’s the link to the review and how it looks on the page:



It turns out that in that  same issue, the editors asked Kim Barker to share what she was reading. Kim is an investigative reporter at the Times and the author of a 2011 memoir, The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which became Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a movie with and by another great woman in the comedy firmament, no less than Tina Fey. In this piece for the Guardian, Kim explains why and how Fey could turn her sometimes harrowing experiences as a war correspondent into funny.

Kim offered up what she was reading for the “New & Noteworthy” column. And guess what it was:



Definitely not something new. My Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist was published twenty-four years ago this month—in 1994.


Not done with the intersections.


Over this nearly quarter of a century, Nellie has been optioned or shopped numerous times, including in 1998-99, when ABC Disney had it. One contract in all this time made it to the small screen for the PBS “American Experience” documentary, “Around the World in 72 Days” by Christine Lesiak and Mel Bucklin.  It was through ABC Disney that I got to know and adore Nell. She was the writer on the never-produced script.  And there it is in Just the Funny Parts, among her very long list of credits. Marked “unshot.”






I need to say that Nell and Lynn Sherr have permanent seats on the meditative council that’s formed around the question of the role of men in the quest for gender equality since I finished researching The Suffragents. UN Women’s HeforShe campaign has been in my sights since I turned in the manuscript, too. This past Tuesday, in a landmark event for me at the United Nations Bookshop, I added a seat for Elizabeth Nyamayaro, HeforShe’s global head. I posted about the event—and about Elizabeth, in particular—at great length. We all think it’s time for a Men’s League 2.0. Lynn has written about the issue more than once in her column for, and since we’re talking books, let me add that she is the author of more than one that deserves mention in this context: Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space, and Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words.


I’m sure Nell could provide us with the perfect rejoinder.



National History Day contestants, please read this before you contact me.

The Suffragents won the Gold Medal in US History in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was a finalist for the 2018 Sally and Morris Lasky Prize, presented by the Center for Political History.  See Summer Camp Newsletters” and Facebook posts from book-related appearances. Reviews, notices, and articles about my books are under their titles here. My articles are here.

Upcoming 2019: October 17: Suffragents Panel, National Archives, Washington DC.

Upcoming 2020: January 30: Learning in Retirement Program at Iona College. March 27 Ephemera Society of America, 40th annual conference, Old Greenwich CT. June 4-6Métiers et professions des médias (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles),”  Université de Lausanne (Switzerland).

Past 2019: September 23: January 29: Exhibition Opening Remarks: “Women Get the Vote: A Historic Look at the Nineteenth Amendment,“New York Society Library. February 23: Public Values in Conflict with Animal Agribusiness Practices,” UCLA Law School, Los Angeles.  March 13: The Suffragents,” Scarsdale Woman’s Club, Scarsdale NY. March 24: League of Women Voters, Albany County at the Bethlehem (NY) Public LibraryMarch 25:Judges, Lawyers, and Women’s Suffrage: Recognizing the Men Who Stood with Women on the Front Lines,” Gender Fairness Committee of the Third Judicial District, CLE, NY State Courts at SUNY Albany Law School, Albany NY. May 15: “The Republican Suffragents,” National Women’s Republican Club, New York City. August 7:  Panel, “From Emma Goldman to the Marketplace of Ideas: Marking the 100th Anniversary of Free Speech at the Supreme Court.” (page 40) AEJMC, Toronto. August 14: Webinar, National Park Service. September 23: Bentson Dean’s Lecture, College of Arts and Science, New York University.