Joyous Greetings: The First International Women's Movement, 1830-1860

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9780060170721: Joyous Greetings: The First International Women's Movement, 1830-1860

Over one hundred fifty years ago, champions of women's rights in the United States, Britain, France, and Germany formed the world's earliest international feminist movement. Joyous Greetings is the first book to tell their story.
From Seneca Falls in upstate New York to the barricades of revolutionary Paris, from the Crystal Palace in London to small towns in the German Rhineland, early feminists united to fight for the cause of women. At the height of the Victorian period, they insisted their sex deserved full political equality, called for a new kind of marriage based on companionship, claimed the right to divorce and to get custody of their children, and argued that an unjust economic system forced women into poorly paid jobs. They rejected the traditional view that women's subordination was preordained, natural, and universal. In restoring these daring activists' achievements to history, Joyous Greetings passes on their inspiring and empowering message to today's new generation of feminists.

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About the Author:

A life-long New Yorker, Bonnie S. Anderson is a Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where she teaches women's history and British history. With Judith Zinsser, she co-authored the classic two-volume narrative A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present (revised edition, OUP, 1999). Long active in the women's movement, she has been a volunteer rape crisis counselor at St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village for over ten years.


"In this new look at the networks established among early nineteenth century feminists, Bonnie Anderson documents the importance of international influences in the building of movements for women's emancipation. The book challenges the idea that these movements were uniquely national in character and insists instead on the fact that feminism was an international movement from its inception. Joyous Greetings, clearly and passionately written, is a welcome addition to the history of feminism."--Joan Wallach Scott, Institute for Advanced Study

"Bonnie Anderson has given us a very original and exciting portrait of 'the first international women's movement.' From the women's rights activists of Seneca Falls, New York, to the 'Vesuviennes' of Parisian Street battles, she shows us women who knew themselves to be sisters and struggled for the universal emancipation of their sex. Anderson's work will permanently alter how we will see a whole generation of pioneering European and American feminists."--Ellen Carol DuBois, University of California, Los Angeles

"Joyous Greetings is joyous news to nineteenth-century women's historians in the U.S. and Europe. Tracing the personal and political connections among a core group of twenty woman's rights advocates from the U.S., England, France, and the German states, many of whom met each other as they travelled or migrated over the course of their lives and all of whom corresponded with pioneer activists in other countries, Bonnie Anderson offers the first in-depth portrait of mid-nineteenth century international feminism. Linking revolutionary events in France and the German states with radical activities in England and the U.S., this book argues persuasively for the significance of international connections in inspiring and sustaining national movements to advance the rights of women. In the process it changes our understanding of feminism in each of the nations discussed and opens up whole new worlds for future exploration."--Nancy A. Hewitt, Rutgers University

"Thorough, compelling, and inspiring. Anderson showcases an array of European and American feminists--Frederika Bremer, Jeanne Deroin, Lucretia Mott, Pauline Roland, Ernestine Rose, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton--and highlights their work in promoting a world free of sexism, racism, and inequality...Engrossing and insightful"--Eleanor J. Bader, Library Journal

"Joyous Greetings is a welcome addition to the literature on the struggle for women's rights."--The Journal of American History

"Drawing from the letters, journals, and published articles of such well-known figures as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Harriet Taylor Mill, as well as more obscure early feminists like Ernestine Rose and Frederika Bremer, Anderson captures a lively dialogue of mutual admiration and debate."--International Socialist Review

"For women's historians the book is essential; however, the breadth of its analysis will make it of interest to a wider audience. Those who study international movements and social change generally will find the book instructive. Likewise, feminist scholars can use Joyous Greetings both for its empirical value and to teach students that feminism is not a passing fad but part of a much larger and more active tradition both within the United States and internationally."--HISTORY

"In this erudite, exhaustively researched history, Brooklyn College professor Anderson examines how the dramatic impact of the Industrial Revolution on Western Europe and the United States ignited an international feminist movement--not just a series of discrete feminist activities in various countries, as other histories have posited...Drawing on letters, pamphlets and other primary materials that bring these dynamic women alive, Anderson's narrative offers a keen sense of history-in-the-making and will leave readers yearning to know more."--Publishers Weekly

"An excellent introduction to the roots of modern feminism."--Booklist

"Bonnie S. Anderson's Joyous Greetings is the only work I know of that puts the first crucial stage of the woman's movement-1824 to 1860-within the complex transatlantic context required for any full or even adequate understanding."--David Brion Davis, New York Review of Books

"Joyous Greetings traces the early development of [the] first international women's movement, documenting the activities of what Anderson designated as 20 core members for three decades...Lively, well documented."--The New York Times Book Review

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