Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook

Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook

Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook

Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook

Synopsis

The history of the second wave of feminism in the United States demonstrates the potential for both serious social change and seemingly intractable divisions among women. Race, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, and religion have all been dividing influences among women, shaping their various perspectives on and relations to the women's movement. Yet collectively, women's efforts--identified as second wave feminism--are seen as having made a difference. This book highlights the lives and work of fifty second wave feminists, women who have served as catalysts in the developing feminist movement. A diverse group--playwrights and politicians, grassroots organizers and scientists, poets and theologians--they provide the reader with compelling stories of individual women's lives, collective feminist struggles, and the possibilities of feminist social change.

Excerpt

This work provides biographical, analytical, and bibliographical portraits of fifty contemporary U.S. feminists. These women have served as catalysts in the developing feminist movement, drawn on their various identities to help define this and other social movements more broadly, and struggled to advance feminism in ways that would be both personally fulfilling and politically efficacious. Each of their stories serves as an inspiration to readers interested in the power of one, and collectively they provide a portrait of the range of motivations, activities, and accomplishments of feminist thinkers and activists today.

Each essay contains three parts: a biographical portrait of the individual, including information about education, family life, and early activism; an analytical discussion, highlighting the person's accomplishments and her relationship to U.S. feminism; and a bibliographical section that contains a selective list of publications by the subject and writings about her and her work. The bibliography at the end of the book offers readers an extensive listing of works about second and third wave feminism in the United States.

Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook goes to press in 1998, the thirty-year anniversary of many defining moments in civil rights, antiwar, and feminist politics. It is one of many publications that, with the distance of three decades, further attempt to explore those times and those movements. As part of the chronicling of that era, this work suggests that historians as well as other scholars examine the multiple roles women have held and the ways in which movement politics have been influenced by individuals with varieties of identities and affiliations. In other words, the history of the 1960s and beyond can become a history of individuals with multiple identities and of organizations that, consequently, overlap in significant ways. Not surprisingly, as this work demonstrates, feminist women can be found in every element of that history.

A work of this type faces an immediate criticism: it highlights the few and . . .

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