Feminist Papers

Feminist Papers : From Adams to De Beauvoir

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  • Paperback | 736 pages
  • 106.68 x 175.26 x 30.48mm | 340.19g
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
  • Bantam USA
  • New York, United States
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0553123084
  • 9780553123081

Review Text

The corpus of feminist writings keeps growing with no signs of any slacking off in the output. Rossi's anthology is strictly historical beginning with early Enlightenment figures - Mary Wollstonecraft, Abigail Adams, Harriet Martineau - and stopping short of the present with de Beauvoir. The intent was to cull the "essential works" and the excerpts here are fuller, more fleshed out than usual in collections of this kind. If the volume is somewhat unwieldy, at least it reflects the entire range of women's concerns - politics, maternity, domestic entrapment, education, sexual standards, work and wages. There are selections from Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own and Margaret Sanger's My Fight for Birth Control along with socialists and suffragettes. Engels' The Origins of the Family is inevitably included but so too is the important Of little read) work of August Bebel, the great theorist of German Social Democracy. Ms. Rossi is a sociologist by training and her prefatory essays provide, along with biographical sketches, some sociocultural background. The development of feminist consciousness is related to other, wider movements: the rationalism of the 18th century with its passion for the Rights of Man, Abolitionism, the moral fervor of the temperance crusade, and the "increasingly negative view of sexuality" which obtained from about 1850 on. One might have wished for the inclusion of, say, Sylvia Pankhurst, Isadora Duncan, or Mother Jones. Still, the scope is broad and some of Rossi's observations on the families and the social milieu of the women activists, are trenchant. Should be a basic reference. (Kirkus Reviews)show more