REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN by Gloria Steinem

REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN

A Book of Self-Esteem

KIRKUS REVIEW

 In the wake of such feminist calls-to-arms as Susan Faludi's Backlash (p. 1133), Paula Kamen's Feminist Fatale (p. 1137), and Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth (p. 389), Steinem's inwardly turned examination of how men and women sabotage themselves by suppressing the ``child within'' appears decidedly retro. Nevertheless, her reflections on her own and others' spiritual struggles may give a new generation of activists pause for further reflection. In the wake of Ms. magazine's sale and her own resignation as its editor, Steinem found herself, she says, with the time and inspiration to write a book she'd had in mind for years--a study of the psychological and societal factors that negatively influence self-esteem. The result, she tells us, was a heavily footnoted, scholarly report whose reliance on experts' opinions revealed Steinem's own deep lack of confidence, and inspired her to toss away her original manuscript and come out of the closet herself. Recounting her own early life as the daughter of a factory worker who divorced his mentally ill wife when Gloria was only ten, Steinem details the natural progression from a co-dependent relationship with her mother to an unconscious adult sense of being ``co-dependent with the world.'' Forced by her need to wall off her past, she led a life of outer-world confrontations until, through therapy undertaken as research for her book, she began to master her ``inner child.'' By including others' tales of self- actualization through a ``revolution from within''--the creation of a winning chess team in Spanish Harlem, the transformation of a housewife into an entrepreneur, etc.--Steinem illustrates how others' psychic journeys may lead in much different directions than her own. Still, much of what is recommended here will strike many as old hat--and, in the end, more interesting as an update on the feminist's life than as a practical aid to others. A piquant counterpoint to recently revitalized, outer-directed feminist fashion.

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 1992
ISBN: 0-316-81240-4
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1991




MORE BY GLORIA STEINEM

NonfictionMOVING BEYOND WORDS by Gloria Steinem
by Gloria Steinem
NonfictionOUTRAGEOUS ACTS AND EVERYDAY REBELLIONS by Gloria Steinem
by Gloria Steinem