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I have nothing to offer the world but what I think... I think that the thing that I am here to do is a big thing -- the truth. I see deep basic truths; and that I have been given unusual powers of expression. I truly hope that my life will count for much good in the world.
-- letter to George Houghton Gilman, May 11, 1897
Charlotte Perkins Gilman is best known as the author of the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" and a utopian novel, Herland, but she also wrote six nonfiction books and hundreds of articles and lectures. Arguably one of the most radical and certainly one of the most original thinkers of her era, Gilman (1860-1935) is missing from the male-authored intellectual histories and biographies of the period.
This Reader is an effort to fill that gap, offering a representative sample of her nonfiction writing. Presented chronologically, these selections emphasize her thoughts on gender, evolution, economics, radical political movements, and women's groups. Each chapter begins with an exploration of her life during the years covered and a discussion of contemporary intellectual, social, and political developments.