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European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History

Offen, Karen M

22 ratings by GoodReads
ISBN 10: 0804734194 / ISBN 13: 9780804734196
Published by Stanford University Press, 2000
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From UNIVERSITY PRESS BOOKS / Berkeley (Berkeley, CA, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political ...

Publisher: Stanford University Press

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

About this title

Synopsis:

This ambitious book explores challenges to male hegemony throughout continental Europe. It focuses especially on France, but it also offers comparative material on developments in the German-speaking countries and in the smaller European nations and aspiring nation-states. Spanning 250 years, the sweeping coverage extends from Portugal to Poland, Greece to Finland, Ireland to Ukraine, and Spain to Scandinavia?as well as international and transnational feminist organizations.

The study has several objectives. For general readers and those interested primarily in the historical record, it provides a comprehensive, comparative account of feminist developments in European societies, as well as a rereading of European history from a feminist perspective. By placing gender, or relations between women and men, at the center of European politics, where the author argues that it belongs but from which it has long been marginalized, the book aims to reconfigure our understanding of the European past and to make visible a long but neglected tradition of feminist thought and politics.

On another level, by providing a broad and accurate historical analysis, the book seeks to disentangle some misperceptions and to demystify some confusing contemporary debates about the Enlightenment, reason, nature, equality vs. difference, and public vs. private, among others. The author argues that historical feminisms offer us far more than logical paradoxes and contradictions; feminisms are about sexual politics, not philosophy. Feminist victories are not, strictly speaking, about getting the argument right, nor is gender merely ?a useful category of analysis?; sexual difference lies at the heart of human thought and politics.

From the Back Cover:

?This is an important work both for its recovery of little-studied aspects of European feminisms and for the reinterpretation of their main strands. The author?s ability to situate feminisms squarely in the political and intellectual history of Europe, as well as in various chronological, geographical, and ideological contexts, is particularly impressive.??Mary Lynn Stewart, Simon Fraser University
?[European Feminisms] is clear, sensible, and forceful, and it never lapses into jargon or anachronism. It offers a rich account of the aspirations, illusions, disillusions, flounderings, achievements, and advances of a compelling cause.? ?Phi Beta Kappa Key Reporter

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