Unruly Figures: Twenty Tales of Rebels, Rulebreakers, and Revolutionaries You've (Probably) Never Heard Of (Paperback)

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Unruly Figures: Twenty Tales of Rebels, Rulebreakers, and Revolutionaries You've (Probably) Never Heard Of By Valorie Castellanos Clark Cover Image

Unruly Figures: Twenty Tales of Rebels, Rulebreakers, and Revolutionaries You've (Probably) Never Heard Of (Paperback)


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A fascinating look at the lives of twenty rebels and rule-breakers throughout history and what made their contributions to society—in science, politics, art, and more—transformative. By the author and host of the popular Unruly Figures Substack newsletter and podcast.

Unruly Figures gives you access to the lives and often untold stories of twenty of history's most fascinating individuals. Of all the rebels and revolutionaries who have acted around the world, these are often overlooked. Whether they are a bit familiar or entirely new to you, each of these historical figures provides a vivid example of what it means to live life on one's own terms and have a lasting influence on society.

In the first collection of its kind, spotlighting a young historian's fresh view on unheralded rebels, these characters' true stories are brought to life through enthralling narratives of their feats and an original illustration of each. Even those whose names are recognizable—like Jonas Salk—have moments of rebellion that are largely left out of their histories. The diverse cast of unruly figures profiled includes:
  • Kandake Amanirenas, queen of the Kingdom of Kush (modern-day Sudan), who led an army against the invading Romans
  • Manuela Sáenz, revolutionary from Ecuador and collaborator and lover of Simón Bolívar
  • Henry Dunant, Swiss humanitarian and founder of the Red Cross
  • Elaine Sturtevant, known as Sturtevant, a misunderstood American artist who took appropriation and pop art to new heights
Dive into this collection of hidden history tales—those of scientists, artists, revolutionaries, activists, heirs to thrones, and so many more—and you are guaranteed to be inspired by how they lived on their own unconventional terms. 
Valorie Castellanos Clark is a historian and author focusing on unruly people and the emergence of queer identity. She has an MA in History and Literature from Columbia University, writes a Substack, and hosts a podcast called Unruly Figures. She lives in Los Angeles with her two cats.
Product Details ISBN: 9781797223636
ISBN-10: 1797223631
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English

“Drawing from her popular podcast, Valorie Clark has assembled a fabulous cast of real-life rebels, rule breakers, and revolutionaries from across the globe and across the centuries. Each profile in Unruly Figures is brief, breezy, and easy to read, but packed with vivid details and in-depth information that will surprise even seasoned history buffs. Any reader with a rebellious streak will love this book!”

—Debby Applegate, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age

“In this entertaining, insightful collection, Valorie Clark delves into the lives of extraordinary individuals whose unconventional paths have shaped history. The writing is crisp, and the storytelling marvelous. I tore through these pages!”

—Neal Bascomb, New York Times bestselling author of The Winter Fortress and The Perfect Mile