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This essential volume brings together more than forty of the most important historical writings on feminism, covering 150 years of the struggle for women’s freedom. Spanning the American Revolution to the first decades of the twentieth century, these works—many long out of print or forgotten—are finally brought out of obscurity and into the light of contemporary analysis and criticism.
This richly diverse collection contains excerpts from books, essays, speeches, documents, and letters, as well as poetry, drama, and fiction by major feminist writers, including: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, George Sand, Mary Wollstonecraft, Abigail Adams, Emma Goldman, Friedrich Engels, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, John Stuart Mill, Margaret Sanger, Virginia Woolf, and many others.
The pieces in Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings cover the crucial challenges faced by women, including marriage as an instrument of oppression; a woman's desire to control her own body; the economic independence of women; and the search for selfhood, and extensive commentaries by the editor help the reader see the historical context of each selection.
About the Author
Miriam Schneir is the editor of the anthology Feminism in Our Time: The Essential Writings, World War II to the Present and Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings. She coauthored “Remembering the Ladies”: Women in America, 1750-1815, and wrote with Walter Schneir Invitation to an Inquest, a study of the Rosenberg case. Her articles have appeared in Ms., The Nation, The New York Times Magazine, and various other publications. Under the auspices of Columbia Teachers College, she prepared a critique of the coverage and treatment of women in a multivolume encyclopedia, which was the basis for revision of the encyclopedia. She was a research associate with Columbia University Center for the Social Sciences Program in Sex Roles and Social Change.
"This anthology is part of a shelf of early second-wave feminist books that I've carried with me wherever I lived for years to help remind me of the early, exciting days of recovering past texts." —Adrienne Rich