An essential history of women in American journalism, showcasing exceptional careers from 1840 to the present

Undaunted is a representative history of the American women who surmounted every impediment put in their way to do journalism’s most valued work. From Margaret Fuller’s improbable success to the highly paid reporters of the mid-nineteenth century to the breakthrough investigative triumphs of Nellie Bly, Ida Tarbell, and Ida B. Wells, Brooke Kroeger examines the lives of the best-remembered and long-forgotten woman journalists. She explores the careers of standout woman reporters who covered the major news stories and every conflict at home and abroad since before the Civil War, and she celebrates those exceptional careers up to the present, including those of Martha Gellhorn, Rachel Carson, Janet Malcolm, Joan Didion, Cokie Roberts, and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.
    As Kroeger chronicles the lives of journalists and newsroom leaders in every medium, a larger story develops: the nearly two-centuries-old struggle for women’s rights. Here as well is the collective fight for equity from the gentle stirrings of the late 1800s through the legal battles of the 1970s to the #MeToo movement and today’s racial and gender disparities.
   Undaunted unveils the huge and singular impact women have had on a vital profession still dominated by men.
Undaunted is proof that not every patriotic hero bore a gun and wore pants. Historically, most of the women who poured their souls into the Fourth Estate were treated like witnesses to their own execution: Everyone got to make a speech about them — but them. Now their story is told by one of their own, with the forthright candor and superb journalistic skill for which Brooke Kroeger is known. The pioneers in this tome were foot soldiers of justice and imagination. Their presence in newsrooms challenged the very nature of journalism, which by its nature, lives in a language dipped in the subtle but charged, effective strength of male prejudice. For all their talent and skill, these women had no voice in history. Now, thanks to Kroeger, they have one.”—James McBride, author of Deacon King Kong

“Editors confined them to the women's section, and thought them too emotional for wider duty. Bosses insisted they could not go out at night without a male escort. Professional societies would not let them in. Historians of journalism wiped them from the story. Newspapers mercilessly underpaid them. And everyone seemed to observe upon their ‘nature,’ said to be ill-suited for journalism's toughest tasks. The gradual overcoming of these barriers is the grand theme of Brooke Kroeger's Undaunted, a phenomenal work of research with a simple point to make. Women are half the public. Making them equals in the newsroom is not an option but a necessity.”—Jay Rosen, author of What Are Journalists For?

“Brooke Kroeger here offers an invaluable accounting of two centuries of achievement. Full of surprising stories, Undaunted masterfully charts individual breakthroughs while building the larger narrative of female journalists in America. While it can be disheartening to watch the same issues come back decade after decade, it is impossible to read this record of journalistic innovation without a sense of triumph.”—Kim Todd, author of Sensational: The Hidden History of America’s “Girl Stunt Reporters”

“For too long the contributions of women to American journalism have been devalued or overlooked. Fortunately, Brooke Kroeger has retrieved many of their inspiring tales from the waste bin of history to show how women forever changed the field. An overdue collective history of generations of intrepid female journalists.”—Pamela Newkirk, author of Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media

“With unprecedented scope, Brooke Kroeger has created a fast-paced, beautifully written account of fearless women journalists across America whose inspiring, relentless determination overcame pernicious behavior and persistent barriers. Undaunted is a heavy dose of inspiration for today’s women working in journalism and all women still knocking down gender barriers.”—Jennifer Preston, Senior Fellow, Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy

“In the no-stone-unturned style of the reporters whose exploits she retells, Brooke Kroeger documents how tenacious pioneers from Nellie Bly to Nikole Hannah-Jones blasted through the walls of journalism, exposed topics previously ignored, and built a home for women in America’s most controversial profession even as newsrooms fought for survival. Kroeger leaves no doubt that enterprising women have long narrated America’s real story.”—Elizabeth Cobbs, author of Fearless Women: Feminist Patriots from Abigail Adams to Beyoncé