Feminist Theory: The Intellectual Traditions; Third Edition by Josephine Donovan

Article excerpt

NEW YORK: CONTINUUM, 2000

I was looking forward to this book, hoping it would provide a coherent framework (of `isms') in which to place Stanton, Greer, Millett, Firestone, et al. I was not disappointed.

Donovan's book is divided into the following chapters: Enlightenment Liberal Feminism; Nineteenth-Century Cultural Feminism; Feminism and Marxism; Feminism and Freudianism; Feminism and Existentialism; Radical Feminism; The Moral Vision of Twentieth-Century Cultural Feminism; and the Twenty-first Century (focusing on anti-pornography and maternity-leave issues as examples of the continuing refinement of liberal, cultural, radical feminism; postmodernism and ecofeminism).

The liberal and cultural feminism chapters were good -- just what I wanted. I thought the Marxism, Freudianism, and Existentialism chapters a little tangental to feminism -- silly me: I had already read Juliet Mitchell, Karen Homey and Simone de Beauvoir. And now, having read her chapters -- in each case, she reviews the featured `ism,' then discusses feminist critiques and developments of it -- I have a clear, if brief, understanding not only of how they fit in, but others as well. …