Origins of the Book Club


At JSTOR Daily, Pamela Burger follows the history of women’s book clubs from their progressive 19th century origins to their recent Oprah-inspired revival:

In many ways, these older groups paved the way for women to view themselves as having a rightful place in intellectual culture. The seriousness of their work gave credence to women’s participation in public intellectual life, something that today’s female book clubbers take as a given.

Michelle Vider is a writer based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming in The Toast, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Atlas and Alice, Baldhip Magazine, and others. Find her at or @meanchelled. More from this author →