Martha Ackmann is a journalist and author who writes about women who have changed America. She is the author of the award-winning The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight (Random House, 2003), about women pilots who secretly tested to be astronauts in the early days of the US space program. She teaches in the gender studies department at Mount Holyoke College.
At Radcliffe, Ackmann will work on a new book, “Curveball,” about the life of Toni Stone. Stone was the first woman to play professional baseball on men’s teams, in the 1950s in the Negro League, and sports historians call her “the best baseball player you’ve never heard of.” The book will examine Stone’s unprecedented baseball career and her impact on the struggle for equality and social justice in Jim Crow America.
Ackmann has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Amelia Earhart Medal for aviation research, and the Special Media Prize from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, New England Section. A frequent media commentator, she has been on CNN, NPR, and the BBC, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers around the country. She is a cofounder of LEGACY: A Journal of American Women Writers and the vice president of the Emily Dickinson International Society. She holds a BA from Lindenwood College, an MA from Middlebury College, and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts.