The second sex, alongwith its infinite other grievances, has always been subjected to a second-rate form of history ""biographical"" for which this documentary overview is a corrective. A subordinate group, consigned to an ancillary sphere separate if not removed from the larger world, women have for almost four hundred years attempted to disavow the popular presentiment that they are ""females first and human beings second."" The anthology here, angled toward unity rather than comprehensiveness and only occasionally yielding to lighter moments (Mr. Dooley), deals with their initial protest against domestic subjugation, their widening insistence on equal rights not only to vote but to achieve equal educational and occupational opportunities. While certainly women no longer work ""in bedraggled skirts that cling in fettering folds,"" and their major demands have been met--still (as in the closing Unfinished Business) the major problem remains that women will be unequal as long as the basic family structure is unchanged (the editor). From Anne Bradstreet's gentle plea in 1642 on her right to write poetry, through the sisters Grimke, Margarel Fuller, Lucy Stone, Emma Willard, Susan B. Anthony's claimant Social Purity, etc., etc., most of the hardier handmaidens of history appear down to present-day defenders of women's rights in various debates, letters, articles, speeches, etc.