Babes in Boyland

A Personal History of Co-education in the Ivy League

By Gina Barreca

Gina Barreca gives a humorous and provocative account of being a female undergraduate at Dartmouth College in its turbulent first years of co-education.

Offering a frank and observant look at gender, education, and identity at a critical juncture in the author’s–and America’s–development, Babes in Boyland brings to life a pivotal moment in the history of co-education. It was a time in which hostility to women was still rife (fraternity house banners at Dartmouth read “Better Dead than Co-Ed”), but one that promised equal education to promising young women.


“Recalling her Dartmouth days with “a combination of pride, astonishment and affection”—and acknowledging that “astonishment dominates”—Brooklyn-raised Barreca serves up a witty, episodic, chatty and decidedly personal account of being one of the first women on the [Dartmouth] campus in the 1970s . . . Barreca is an unfailingly winning narrator and if her book is more memoir than history, it’s a delightful tour of one woman’s college experience, seasoned with a consciousness of issues of gender and class.” —Publishers Weekly

“Barreca’s humor shines through.”–Library Journal

“Over four years at an elite school in remote New Hampshire, smack in the middle of the women’s movement, Barreca learned to do what any sassy smartypants would: challenge stale ideas and press buttons . . . ‘a good education can be subversive’ [Gina Barreca] writes in her recent book on the experience.”–Chicago Tribune

“An engaging chronicle of Barreca’s ups and downs as one of the first female students at Dartmouth.” —Kirkus Reviews

Babes in Boyland

Publication Information

Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: UPNE
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
ISBN: 978-1611682038