Feminism unfinished : a short, surprising history of American women's movements
In this bold, revisionist history, three leading scholars of women's history provide the first concise history of American women's movements over the nearly hundred years since women gained the right to vote. They eschew the popular--though incomplete--narrative focusing on the 1960s and 1970s, and... Full description
In this bold, revisionist history, three leading scholars of women's history provide the first concise history of American women's movements over the nearly hundred years since women gained the right to vote. They eschew the popular--though incomplete--narrative focusing on the 1960s and 1970s, and trace the world-changing social movement to the 1920s. This broader canvas allows for the struggles of all women, including working-class women, to come to the foreground. Among the many myths the book dispels is the notion that feminism was a movement of the largely white, highly educated, upper middle class. The authors vividly render the struggles of those women who organized rallies, demonstrations, and sit-ins--often working alongside civil rights demonstrators--to demand equal wages and better jobs, as well as the right to both sexual pleasure and reproductive control. The book also provides a counterpoint to the contemporary corporate-backed "lean-in" philosophy; the authors argue that this assumes that gains for a tiny elite will help all women. They demonstrate that, to the contrary, the gains women have made were created by working together for social change rather than by striving individually for personal success. While each new generation since 1920 has arrived in a world improved by the efforts of previous struggles, the movement is far from over. Progress is not a birthright but rather a vision that has been constructed, reconstructed, and fought for over and over again.--From publisher description.
xxi, 265 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 233-237) and index.
9780871406767 (hardcover) :
Winner of two Bancroft Prizes for best book in American history, Linda Gordon is the author of The Second Coming of the KKK and a biography of photographer Dorothea Lange. She lives in New York and Madison, Wisconsin.
Astrid Henry is the Louise R. Noun Chair of Women's Studies at Grinnell College. She lives in Grinnell, Iowa.