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An exploration of the women's movement, with biographies of Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, and Betty Friedan.
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This comprehensive, well-organized book chronicles the lives of Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger and Betty Friedan, three women prominent in the ongoing women's rights movement. Archer begins by briefly describing the conditions surrounding women's unequal status and summarizing the women's liberation movement from 1837 to the present. Biographical chapters on Anthony, Sanger and Friedan follow--each begins with a turning point in the woman's career, and then explores her childhood and background. The author smoothly interweaves historical facts with pertinent quotations as he discusses Anthony's fight for women's suffrage, Sanger's determination to educate women about birth control and Friedan's struggle to earn equality for women in the workplace and society in general. He also refers to many other women who played a part in the feminist revolution. The final section weakly addresses current issues relevant to the women's movement, detracting from the biographies' potency. Nevertheless, the historical impact of these women's lives is deftly presented through captivating narrative. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The influences on American feminists--from Lysistrata to abolitionism, as well as the personal impact of parental strengths and--enhance this multiple biography. Archer involves readers in the drama: Anthony in a court case, Sanger attending a woman injured in a self-induced abortion, Friedan planning a march to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 19th Amendment despite Mayor Lindsay's ban. Each personal history includes sources for the woman's ideas (e.g., Sanger developing the idea of widespread clinics after studying clinics in the Netherlands) and dramatizes the difficulties in establishing precedents for what are now norms (in her fight to make dispensing birth-control information legal, Sanger served eight prison terms). Each section also portrays its subject's larger circle: Stanton and Mott; Debs, Goldman, Darrow; Steinem. Anthony said, ``I love to make history but hate to write it.'' Archer gives the history an exciting flourish; thanks to his protagonists, his audience will come to it better prepared than any of theirs. Bibliography. (Nonfiction. 10+) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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