Cover Image: Women's Liberation!

Women's Liberation!

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Member Reviews

Y'all know I'll read any feminist book I can get my hands on! I liked this one, but it didn't really feel new from others that I've read. It definitely was good and had the reader thinking deeper. I'd still recommend reading!
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A brilliant and informative read. Engaging from start to finish, it was well written and incredibly researched. An exciting read
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Wasn't really what I was expecting. An interesting time period to focus on for feminism, but with little context setting (which can be done through footnotes or similar) it seems a bit off.
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I really enjoyed this book. I learned quite a bit from it too and have already recommended it to some of my young adult readers! I can’t wait to check it out in a physical edition.
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A great selection of feminist writing for the modern era - I loved it.

After reading it I was left feeling proud of my gender and also with a hunger to do more for liberation.

My only criticism would be I found the font quite small to read on my device which made reading a bit of a struggle.
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This book is one that I immediately liked the look of. I'm a proud feminist and love books like this. However, I couldn't finish it. 

This book is a collection of works written by feminists across the globe. The content is intense and quite hard to read. At almost 600 pages, I got overwhelmed, bored and couldn't complete it. 

I don't feel like it's an accessible feminist  book but I feel that it's one I may try and pick up again.
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This is a really important collection of writings from the second wave of feminism. I feel like I have a much better understanding of the history of the movement now and I definitely want not only to buy a hard copy of this book for reference, but track down several of the books included for further reading. I was pleased to see a number of the articles etc were from women of colour or from the LGBT+ community, as it showed that the Women's Liberation Movement was more intersectional than I thought. I also liked that there was reference to the infighting as it shows the variety of beliefs among the women connected to the movement.
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I have been a Feminist for as long as I can remember, which means my parents raised me as such. Despite this, however, certain doubts, thoughts and fears still creep in, especially in a world that is slowly creeping ever more to the right. Revisiting the writing of (American) Feminists from the past sixty-odd years has been immensely inspiring and I can't help but thank Shulman and Moore for putting this writing together into such an inspiring primer. Thanks to Library of American and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A shameful confession is in order here. Despite being a feminist for all these years, I have not read as many of the foundation text as I would have liked. Although being a Feminist shouldn't really come with entry requirements, I do think it requires consistent education. As a white, middle-class, cis, heterosexual woman, I need to make sure I continue to broaden my understanding of what women go through. I also need to take a close look at how I benefit and how I suffer from the way society  currently functions and what I role I play in that. That was a lot of 'I's, but getting to know yourself and understanding your own position is important. The writings in Women's Liberation! have given me a new vocabulary to express myself, they have opened my eyes even further towards the racism that underlies some feminist writings, and they have been conversation starters for me and my friends.

Women's Liberation! starts with the first chapter of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique as a kind of foundational text for American feminism. From there, this collection is divided roughly into decades, covering 1863 to 1991, with each writing prefaced by Shulman and Moore with biographical information. Much of this writing is from the seventies, but each decade has its absolute standouts and heavy hitters. Solanas' SCUM Manifesto makes a thrilling appearance, while the 'Statement on Birth Control' by the Black Women's Liberation Group of Mt. Vernon, NY was eye-opening. I was very much affected by Dana Densmore's 'On Celibacy', especially her naked admission that once you take access to your body off the table the behaviour of men who were friends before will change. The excerpt from Doris Wright's 1970 essay 'Angry Notes from a Black Feminist' highlights the importance of intersectional Feminism, of discussing the similarities but also the differences in gendered issues women of different races face. Mitsue Yamada's 'Invisibility Is an Unnatural Disaster: Reflections of an Asian American Woman' was especially important for me to read in the past months. 

It's impossible to really summarize the writings of Women's Liberation! because there is such a variety of it. But there are a few things these writings have in common. They are indeed rallying cries, written from anger, or sadness, or conviction, or even a joyful cynicism. You can't help but read these women's writing and learn from them, whether it is learning a new vocabulary for your own experiences or learning how to pick apart and understand the elements in society that lead to oppression. There is also a sadness to reading this collection now, when some of the changes these women wrought is being overturned, and when so much hasn't changed yet. But that is where the subtitle of Women's Liberation! comes in. These writings can indeed "still" be inspiring and I realized that by actually engaging with these texts I can be much more effective. Knowing what has come before, understanding where way may have gone wrong and where we forged crucial bridges, all of that helps in taking one step after the other on the journey to a more equal society. 

Women's Liberation! is a necessary and timely collection of brilliant writing by Feminists of the last few decades of the 20th century.  Let yourself be inspired to keep fighting!
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I've wanted to catch up with feminism history for some time now  and this collection of feminist essays, from the 1960s to the 1990s, was a perfect book to start with. It was interesting to see how the feminist ideas developed and changed over time (and differ or in some cases stay the same in comparison to present day feminism). Some essays did not stand the test of time, some could be published today and still have relevance. Great informative read.   

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Women's Liberation! from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Such a great collections of essays!

I will be going back to this one regularly as I am interested in women's experiences from other cultures than my own. I am so grateful I was accepted to own this book. So thank you Netgalley for this! It is an incredible sources for my political science studies for sure!
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I enjoyed reading this collection of essays. It highlights the second wave of feminism and provides perspectives chronologically from 1963 to 1991. As someone who is in WGS, I appreciate that the collection included provided context for the movement, however, I do believe that there should have been the inclusion of writings across the globe. To me, this reads very Western-centric and I wish there was more from people in other places.
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A collection of feminist essays ranging from the 60s to the 90s the editors clearly put a lot of effort and thoughtful consideration in curating this collection. Would recommend.
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This nonfiction collection includes documents spotlighting the women’s movement and growth dating from 1963 through 1991. This key era offered  many of the colorful popular writings collected here. The volume should have appeal to readers with background or interest in gender and diversity studies, including younger women seeking a historical but non-academic perspective.
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I think this was a very interesting collection of writings, though I think it would have been even more interesting with some pieces from before 1963 as well. Personally, I would've found it really interesting to see a path from early women's suffrage through to now would've been really interested, even if it was just mentioned in an introductory chapter. Otherwise, the writings selected were really interesting and diverse in topics and authors.
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm a student of gender and diversity, so it's crucial to my study program that I have a good grasp on feminist history. I thought this collection was really great, as it included a lot of diverse viewpoints and made clear that by no means have feminists always agreed with one another. Indeed, some of the tensions we still have today have their roots in decades-long (or longer) debates within the movement.

The book has a hugely Western (specifically American) perspective. I don't think that's a point against the book, but it's worth mentioning. Reading it has made me want to seek out similar books from other regions in the world.

I think this is a great introduction to some of the debates that were happening in the 20th century regarding feminist issues, and also a good reminder of what is still happening now.
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A great collection of writings during the feminist movement. I love the timeline that can helped me track of when things were written so I could see how things have changed. Honestly the feminist movement isn't over yet and Id love to see more people writing about it but this is just segments from different feminist books so I would've liked to see more insight from the editor. I do recommend for people who love history.
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I've been studying feminism for some years now and I loved reading this book. Relevant and not so intricate texts. It is one more for a growing collection of a young woman who seeks to be resistance at all times.
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Women’s Liberation! Feminist Writings that Inspired a Revolution & Still Can
Edited by Alix Kates Shulman and Honor Moore, Library of America, 16 February 2021.

Thank you to Net Galley for providing this unedited copy for review. 
 Firstly, let me address the unedited nature of the copy I received for review (a kindle version). This has been fairly difficult to navigate, and I believe that the writers would benefit from a little further formatting before providing the galleys for review. That being said, I have enjoyed the papers that have been well worth the chase. 

Women’s Liberation! Feminist Writings that inspired a Revolution & Still Can is a commanding title – which, in my initial view, could well have done without the exclamation mark. I found it, together with the ampersand, likely to undermine the serious nature of the work. However, this collection, although serious in nature and intent, comprises a large range of material which omits academic works. As a ‘clarion call’ motif, the cover is eye catching, and not only denotes the popular nature of the work but is perhaps essential in a period when the stories of many inequalities are fighting for attention. The insertion of pamphlets and other short works provide the variety in sources that makes this collection so accessible. Hopefully, many of them ‘still can’ influence the way in which women continue to address the nature, impact, and resolution to the discrimination we endure.  However, a proviso, there are some papers that, while historically worth inclusion, resonate uncomfortably in the context of the anger and heightened attention that surely must be given to the importance that governments must be able to govern without violent harassment. 
Kates Shulman and Moore have brought this collection together in a manner that helps explain and describe the diversity of women and ideas that made up the women’s movement and women’s fight for recognition from 1963 to 1991.  In addition, there is a valuable introduction to the collection, and short introductions to individual papers throughout. The latter usually combines information about the background of the work, the writer/s and the historical context.  The introduction to the collection goes further. However, amongst the excellent scene setting, development of historical context and detail about the writers and the movements they represent, I would have liked to have seen some discussion of the ideas and how they fit into today’s need for inspiration. Are they ‘just’ historical papers that are interesting relics of their time? Or do the ideas provide a foundation for the inspiration that Kates Schulman and Moore’s title suggests they would like to see? 
The early section begins with an excerpt from Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique The Problem that has No Name. This piece was a “must read” when it was first published, was a huge part of thinking during the 1970s, and is as pertinent today. As familiar are the works associated with the politics of housework, birth control, vaginal orgasm, consciousness raising, “the personal is political” and criticism of beauty pageants. A significant addition is the number of commentaries from and about the politics of being black or a woman of colour. This concern with the intersection of sexism and racism is a theme throughout the papers, and particularly relevant today where movements advocating white supremacy are dangerously prevalent.  
Excerpts from Schulamith Firestone and Kate Millett begin the 1970 – 1979 section. Shirley Chisholm, Robin Morgan Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, Susan Brownmiller, Judy Chicago, Barbara Ehrenreich, Andrea Dworkin and Mary Daly, familiar names from the 1970s, are joined by pamphlet writers and (to me) less well-known women who contributed to the women’s movement in this period. There are papers on women and the law, abortion law repeal, rape, lesbian politics, welfare, madness, ‘verbal karate’ (Florence R Kennedy), health (how fondly I recall Our Bodies, Ourselves), more on housework, a letter from a battered wife, and sexual harassment. 
In the 1980 to 1991 section issues related to women in third world countries are raised, along with concerns with pornography, women’s invisibility, psychology, further work on black and coloured women, and an interesting reflection on whether men will be freed first by feminism, and prostitution. Familiar names in this section are Catherine McKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, Ursula K. Le Guin. 
To finish, I must acknowledge that some women reading this collection will find other women’s names familiar. I have enjoyed re-reading and reflecting upon the material that I read at the height of my involvement in the women’s movement.  Complementing that reading was the material new to me, some distinctly disturbing, other writing making me think in new ways about issues with which I thought I was familiar. This collection readily offers both to its readers in a well organised chronology of our past and ideas that might indeed provide information for our future action.
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I received a free copy of Women's Liberation! from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review - many thanks!

This is a collection of feminist essays, ranging from the 60s to the 90s.

For a while now I've been wanting to find out more about the history of feminism. While I'm normally not a huge fan of essay collections, I thought it might be a good way to approach this topic.
And I'm glad I did. The editors of Women's Liberation! clearly put a lot of thought and effort into collecting and combining all these wonderful essays.
It was an interesting experience to listen to the voices of women who were (and are in some cases) part of the movement. Many of these essays were very thought-provoking and made clear to me how far we've come. But also how much still needs to be done.

As is often the case for me with non-fiction (especially essay collections), some were more interesting to me than others. That's not the book's fault though. I'd even say it's a point in the book_s favour, as there's something of interest to everybody in this huge collection.

I can highly recommend Women's Liberation! to anybody interested in the history of feminism.
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Thank you #NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Women’s Liberation in exchange for an honest and fair review. 

I’ve been working to read books outside of my “normal” criteria lately so when this popped up on NetGalley I jumped at the opportunity to read and review Women’s Liberation. 

This is a collection of diverse feminist works from 1963-1991 and honestly some parts I’m not even sure what to say about them except they got my blood boiling. It took me a while to read the all of the collections but I read them little by little over the past month, and it was a really inspiring read just to know more of feminism history before I was born. I particularly appreciated that there was diverse voices and perspectives. 

Women’s Liberation is an great compilations of writings, pamphlets and works, and I appreciated the opportunity to read them and would recommend them to pretty much everyone alive today as I think it’s important to reflect upon where we were and how we got to where we are now. It feels like an important part of history, and I’m so thankful for all the strong women who fought before me, all the strong women alive and fighting now, and all the strong women that will fight in the future. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
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