A history of feminism in the 20th century, with short biographies of some of the lesser-known or now-forgotten people and ideas (like an apartment house designed especially for working mothers) that helped push the cause forward. Interestingly enough, the current Women's Lib movement more resembles the relatively revolutionary one of the first twenty years of the century than the more complacent intervening decades; interest in feminism often arising out of female participation in other struggles (peace, trade unionism, civil rights, viz. the early career of Margaret Sanger), the sometimes bitter divisions between the radicals who base their analyses on sexist or class (Marxist) terms and the more moderate reformists (such as NOW) -- the major difference being the current emphasis on sexuality and the related issues of abortion, lesbianism, and alternative life-styles. There are some strange heroines (Pearl Buck) and odder quasi-villains (Benjamin Spock, Margaret Mead). All in all, a somewhat superficial but useful survey of the major figures and concepts of the women's movement, most informative on the early years for the section on the '60's and '70's is cursory at best.
Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1973
Page Count: -
Publisher: Quadrangle--The New York Times Book Co.