Women's Liberation! Feminist Writings that Inspired a Revolution & Still Can
Edited by Alix Kates Shulman and Honor Moore
When Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique in 1963, the book exploded into women’s consciousness. Before the decade was out, what had begun as a campaign for women’s civil rights transformed into a diverse and revolutionary movement for freedom and social justice that challenged many aspects of everyday life long accepted as fixed: work, birth control and abortion, childcare and housework, gender, class, and race, art and literature, sexuality and identity, rape and domestic violence, sexual harassment, pornography, and more. This was the women’s liberation movement, and writing—powerful, personal, and prophetic—was its beating heart.
Fifty years on, in the age of #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, this visionary and radical writing is as relevant and urgently needed as ever, ready to inspire a new generation of feminists. Activists and writers Alix Kates Shulman and Honor Moore have gathered an unprecedented collection of works—many long out-of-print and hard to find—that catalyzed and propelled the women’s liberation movement.
Ranging from Friedan’s Feminine Mystique to Backlash, Susan Faludi’s Reagan-era requiem, and framed by Shulman and Moore with an introduction and headnotes that provide historical and personal context, the anthology reveals the crucial role of Black feminists and other women of color in a decades long mass movement that not only brought about fundamental changes in American life—changes too often taken for granted today—but envisioned a thoroughgoing revolution in society and consciousness still to be achieved.
With sixteen pages of photographs.
Alix Kates Shulman’s 1972 debut novel, the million-copy best seller Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, is now a feminist classic. Hailed by The New York Times as “the voice that has for three decades provided a lyrical narrative of the changing position of women in American society,” she has written five novels, three memoirs, a biography of anarchist-feminist Emma Goldman, and the collection A Marriage Agreement and Other Essays. Her memoir Drinking the Rain was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, and in 2018 she received a Clara Lemlich Award for a lifetime of social activism.
Honor Moore is the author of Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter at Midcentury; The White Blackbird, a life of her grandmother, the painter Margarett Sargent; The Bishop’s Daughter, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and three collections of poems. For Library of America, she edited Amy Lowell: Selected Poems and Poems from the Women’s Movement. She is on the faculty of the graduate writing program at the New School, where she heads nonfiction.