Women’s History Month

This week’s review looks at the history of the feminist movement, from its beginnings to its ties to the Civil Rights Movement, with a plethora of visual sources from America and abroad

The feminist revolution: the struggle for women’s liberation

Morris, Bonnie J. by Bonnie J. Morris and D-M Withers Smithsonian Books, 2018
224p index, 9781588346124 $34.95

Morris (gender and women’s studies, Berkeley) and Withers (fellow, Univ. of Sussex, UK) provide a thematic history of the women’s movement in a text that is part visual anthology and part textbook. Despite largely focusing on feminist manifestations in the US and Britain, the authors take pains to incorporate international sources and events, most significantly through their inclusion of an array of visual sources—such as stamps, posters, flyers, and buttons—from countries including South Africa, Russia, China, Australia, Greece, and Belgium. The authors begin by discussing the movement and how it was mobilized, the movement’s political and ideological commitments, and feminism’s strong ties to the Civil Rights Movement and activism by women-of-color. Next, the authors tackle women’s reclamation of the physical and mental treatment of the body, sexuality and lesbian feminism, culture and the workplace, publishing and media, music and the arts, and the antiwar and antinuclear proliferation debates. They close with a discussion of the radicalization and fragmentation of the movement and the implications for the education of the next generation of feminists. Including a foreword by Roxane Gay, this text provides an excellent and engaging introduction to the feminist movement.

Summing Up: Essential. Public, general, and undergraduate levels/libraries.
Reviewer: S. L. Vandermeade, Arizona State University
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – History, Geography & Area Studies
Choice Issue: Jul 2018