Deborah G. Felder

Contemporary Authors

Deborah G. Felder has worked as a writer, editor, and educator; her main interests in these areas have been children’s literature and women’s studies. She was formerly an editor at Scholastic publishing company and has taught courses in women’s biography and twentieth-century women’s history. She is also the author of four children’s novels and two almanacs for children. In addition, Felder wrote the adaptations of popular children’s books, The Three Musketeers and Anne of Green Gables. Felder has also written a number of books chronicling influential women and noteworthy events in women’s history. Her first contribution to this genre was the 1996 book The 100 Most Influential Women of All Time: A Ranking Past and Present. Here Felder ranks one hundred women throughout history who have made a significant historical and cultural impact. Felder’s number-one selection is former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and she ranks comedienne Lucille Ball number one hundred. The author formed these rankings in part by sending questionnaires to one hundred heads of college women’s studies departments. Many critics gave positive reviews for The 100 Most Influential Women of All Time. In particular, reviewers lauded the author’s accessible and enthusiastic writing style. "Felder’s succinct profile of each notable woman is quite passionate and surprisingly full of information," wrote Booklist contributor Donna Seaman, for example. . . . Felder’s next women’ studies book came in 1999 with the release of A Century of Women: The Most Influential Events in Twentieth-Century Women’s History. With this work the author organizes her information decade by decade, detailing the pivotal events of each period. She includes a wide variety of benchmark events, including the publication of the magazines Vogue and Seventeen, the introduction of advice columns by Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, the founding of organizations like the League of Women Voters and the Girl Scouts, the patenting of the brassiere, and the rise in popularity of icons such as the Barbie doll and Betty Crocker. Felder also includes an appendix of famous female firsts. A Century of Women proved popular with critics and readers. Several reviewers noted Felder’s selection of both well-documented and often-overlooked influential events. "A fascinating array of events has been selected," commented Marie Marmo Mullaney in the Library Journal. Other critics found the book to be accessible for a wide-ranging audience. For instance, Booklist contributor Margaret Flanagan observed of A Century of Women that Felder’s "breezy review will appeal to both serious students of women’s history and casual browsers."