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Alva Myrdal: A Daughter's Memoir

Overview

Alva Myrdal (1902-1986), diplomat, feminist, and one of the founders of the Swedish welfare state, exemplifies in her extraordinary life the joys, the sorrows, and the achievements of women in our time. Her daughter shows us with unflinching candor how Myrdal struggled to attain in her private life the freedom and opportunity which she won for millions of other women.

Author Sissela Bok relates the extraordinary story of the romance between her parents--diplomat and ...

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Overview

Alva Myrdal (1902-1986), diplomat, feminist, and one of the founders of the Swedish welfare state, exemplifies in her extraordinary life the joys, the sorrows, and the achievements of women in our time. Her daughter shows us with unflinching candor how Myrdal struggled to attain in her private life the freedom and opportunity which she won for millions of other women.

Author Sissela Bok relates the extraordinary story of the romance between her parents--diplomat and stateswoman Alva Myrdal and world famous economist Gunnar Myrdal--which began as a summer idyll and led to their receiving Nobel prizes, each in a separate field. "Profoundly inspiring."--Betty Friedan.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bok ( Secrets ) here offers a loving and candid memoir of her mother, the Swedish diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize winner whose dedication to nuclear disarmament led one of her colleagues at the U.N. to describe her as ``the conscience of the disarmament movement.'' Born and raised in rural Sweden, Myrdal (1902-1986) struggled for the right to further her education beyond grade school. After she graduated from Stockholm University she went on, in her writing, teaching and work for the Swedish government and the U.N., to challenge prevailing notions about raising and educating children, the role of women in society, and the responsibility of developed countries in extending prosperity and democracy to the Third World. She frequently collaborated with her husband, economist Gunnar Myrdal; their book Crisis in the Population Question helped kindle the debate that led to the formation of the Swedish welfare state. Bok reveals that while her parents' marriage appeared a perfect partnership, her mother made many compromises--later regretted--for the sake of her husband's career. This is an inspiring and engaging account of one of the most remarkable women of the 20th century. (June)
Library Journal
Bok, a philosophy teacher at Brandeis University, discusses her mother's life and accomplishments in this new addition to the ``Radcliffe Biography'' series. She chronicles Alva's Swedish childhood, her elopement with an economics student, Gunnar Myrdal, who later won the Nobel Prize in economics, her career in the Swedish goverment and the United Nations, and her involvement in the international disarmament movement that won her the 1982 Nobel Peace Prize. The best part is Bok's highly personal and insightful commentary on her mother's life and life choices, which were unusual and even scandalous at the time but seem commonplace to us now. She also includes many excerpts from letters and other family papers, providing a fascinating look into an unusual and special family. Recommended for general and women's studies collections.-- Gwen Gregory, U.S. Courts Lib., Phoenix
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201608151
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 410
  • Lexile: 1250L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Sissela Bok, Ph.D., who has taught philosophy at Brandeis University and ethics and decision making at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, is the author of Lying, Secrets, and A Strategy for Peace
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