America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines (P.S.) by Collins, Gail 1st (first) Edition [Paperback(2007)] - aa

This should be required reading in history class. It does a great job of covering a lot of time, merging the experience of an average woman during a given era or location with focuses on notable women occasionally and then building upon it until we arrive at the modern American woman. 

People sometimes like to refer to women and our role in the world as if it has always been stagnant, as if even being in the house has always meant the same thing. The choices and predicaments of each generation effect all of those that come after them and this book elaborates on just how the lives of women have changed since the first brave woman boarded a ship to come here. Part of what made the book great, was not taking sides between women. There are all sorts of us and the book tells our stories from more than one angle or perspective, equally mentioning the suffragettes and those women who didn't side with them. 

Of course, the book cannot be comprehensive. It does a good job of covering as much ground as it can but it's constrained by pages and records. Still, Collins does a great job with what she has.