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Yale University Press

Woman: The American History of an Idea

Woman: The American History of an Idea

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A comprehensive history of the struggle to define womanhood in America, from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century

"An intelligently provocative, vital reading experience. . . . This highly readable, inclusive, and deeply researched book will appeal to scholars of women and gender studies as well as anyone seeking to understand the historical patterns that misogyny has etched across every era of American culture."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A comprehensive and lucid overview of the ongoing campaign to free women from 'the tyranny of old notions.'"--Publishers Weekly

What does it mean to be a "woman" in America? Award-winning gender and sexuality scholar Lillian Faderman traces the evolution of the meaning from Puritan ideas of God's plan for women to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and its reversals to the impact of such recent events as #metoo, the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the election of Kamala Harris as vice president, and the transgender movement.

This wide-ranging 400-year history chronicles conflicts, retreats, defeats, and hard-won victories in both the private and the public sectors and shines a light on the often-overlooked battles of enslaved women and women leaders in tribal nations. Noting that every attempt to cement a particular definition of "woman" has been met with resistance, Faderman also shows that successful challenges to the status quo are often short-lived. As she underlines, the idea of womanhood in America continues to be contested.

Author: Lillian Faderman
Publisher: Yale University Press
Published: 03/15/2022
Pages: 600
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.95lbs
Size: 9.40h x 6.10w x 1.60d
ISBN: 9780300249903

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 01/03/2022
Kirkus Reviews 02/01/2022
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