The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of World War II

Written by Mari K. Eder
Review by Bryan Dumas

Eder vividly brings to life a collection of stories about women who neither sought out the spotlight during World War II nor received the deserved attention or accolades post-war. “I can’t recall a time when your gender mattered more than your ability to contribute,” recalls one such hero, Marion Armstrong Frieswyk, a pioneer in the fledgling OSS cartography department. But not all women had this luxury. Stephanie Czech, OSS X-2, was so good at her counterintelligence that someone in the Paris office betrayed her to the Russians. Eder captures the challenges and successes of various women across Europe, Asia, and within the U.S. in this fascinating collection of stories. Stand-out chapters include Alice Marble, tennis pro turned counter-espionage agent; Betty Robarts and BOMBE, the machine that she had no idea what it did until well after the war; Hilde Eisen who escaped the ghetto in Lublin, Poland, and joined the resistance. Eder has compiled a worthy addition to World War II literature and a lasting tribute to the legacy of “the girls who stepped out of line.”