Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1925-1993: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

By Karlyn Kohrs Campbell | Go to book overview

PHYLLIS STEWART SCHLAFLY

( 1924-), author, founder and president of STOP ERA and Eagle Forum

MARY ANNE TRASCIATTI AND MARTHA SOLOMON

When Phyllis Stewart Schlafly founded and appointed herself chair of STOP ERA in 1972, she was already a seasoned political activist. From the early 1950s, she worked earnestly for conservative Republican causes, and she made two unsuccessful bids in 1952 and 1970 for a congressional seat. Moreover, she wrote the controversial A Choice Not an Echo ( 1964), which, with little advertising, sold an estimated 3 million copies and was widely credited with helping Barry Goldwater win the crucial 1964 California primary. Perhaps more important for the fate of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), Stewart Schlafly started The Phyllis Schlafly Report (PSR), a monthly newsletter she sent to disappointed supporters in 1967 after her defeat for the presidency of the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) ( Felsenthal, 1981:151-214, 163, 195). Thus, her ability to forge a powerful and effective lobby against the ERA was the fruition of her long-standing interest in Republican politics. In the wake of her adroit management of the STOP ERA campaign, her emergence as a national spokeswoman for a variety of conservative causes was not surprising.

Her public visibility and political effectiveness gained her substantial recognition. In 1977 the World Almanac named her one of the nation's most influential women, the Associated Press listed her as one of the ten most influential people in Illinois (she was the only woman on that list), and Good Housekeeping's poll put her on the roster of the ten most admired women in the country ( Felsenthal, 1981:103-104).


BACKGROUND

In many ways, Stewart Schlafly's ardent opposition to the ERA seems at odds with her personal struggles and achievements. Born August 15, 1924, in St. Louis, Missouri, she was the older daughter of a librarian and a self-educated

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Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1925-1993: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Ti-Grace Atkinson 1
  • Emily Greene Balch 25
  • Clare Boothe Luce 40
  • Rachel Louise Carson 72
  • Margaret Chase Smith 90
  • Mary Daly 120
  • Jessie Daniel Ames 134
  • Andrea Dworkin 175
  • Geraldine Ann Ferraro 190
  • Helen Gahagan Douglas (1900-1980), Member of Congress, Defender of Liberal Democratic Principles, Advocate for Women's Equity 207
  • Margaret Higgins Sanger 238
  • Helen Adams Keller (1880-1968), Advocate for the Blind, Socialist, and Feminist 254
  • Aimee Kennedy Semple Mcpherson 273
  • Catharine A. Mackinnon 287
  • Robin Evonne Morgan 306
  • Pauli Murray 319
  • Leonora O'Reilly 331
  • Frances Perkins 345
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman 359
  • Anna Eleanor Roosevelt 379
  • Patricia Scott Schroeder 395
  • Phyllis Stewart Schlafly 409
  • Fannie Lou Townsend Hamer 424
  • Alyce Faye Wattleton 436
  • Ann Willis Richards 452
  • Martha Wright Griffiths 465
  • Index 477
  • About the Contributors 489
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