From the Publisher
"With patience, research, and an extraordinary sense of scale . . . French offers a striking overview of feminist theory and action alongside her own views, polishing off an exquisite history useful for both personal and classroom study."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[French's] coverage is encyclopedic, but her prose is impressively accessible, creating a rare find: a page-turning, can't-put-it-down history text. . . . This is not a simple repackaging of history for women. French instead gives life to a new way of looking at the world as it exists for women. Her history is sure to inspire the burgeoning feminist in every woman and man. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries and essential for universities with women's studies programs."
Library Journal, starred review
"Deeply wise, lyrical, and powerful. With this empowering book as our guide, we face the twenty-first centuryand its fundamentalist brutalityemboldened and reinvigorated. A global and spectacular literary, political, and cultural history."
Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt, Volumes I, II, III
"A must-read for any women's history enthusiast."
In the final installment of her four-volume feminist history, French gratifies readers with an all-encompassing view of women's major and minor 20th century victories from all corners of the globe. French honors both male and female leaders, locating feminist uprisings in such unexpected places as Turkey, where reformist president Mustapha Kemal accepted women in his army and appeared in public with his educated wife unveiled. With patience, research and an extraordinary sense of scale, French examines the effects that the current major forms of government have had on women throughout the centuries, and correlates those findings with the current social and political moment in locations throughout the world. She also tackles the subjects of religion and war, which she claims are the two modern forms of patriarchy-men's way of successfully dominating not just women but other men. Her most curious and insightful volume, this book leaves no angle unexplored. Though often wordy, French offers a striking overview of feminist theory and action alongside views uniquely her own, polishing off an exquisite history useful for both personal and classroom study.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Feminist Press now brings the second half of French's monumental work, originally published in Canada in 2003, to a thankful American audience. Volumes 3 and 4 delve into the economic and political revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Industrialization and the ensuing capitalist, Socialist, Communist, and anti-imperialist movements across the globe all benefit from French's erudite feminist historical treatment. Her coverage is encyclopedic, but her prose is impressively accessible, creating a rare find: a page-turning, can't-put-it-down history text. The book's simple premise is concisely stated in the foreword by Margaret Atwood: "Women, it seems, are not a footnote after all." Yet to bring a gender-inclusive history to fruition required 15 years of comprehensive scholarship, all highly visible in each volume. Biographies of exceptional women, ethnographic studies, anthropological scholarship, and feminist theory bolster French's historical narrative.With women at the center of this history, examination of power is vital; French tackles its core: the political structures, economic forces, and social practices that allow one group of people to dominate another. She highlights the exploitation of female labor in both the public and the private spheres as well as the patriarchal structure of political systems, including those that claim egalitarianism. She notes women's attempts to counter oppressive institutions and practices, e.g., via suffrage movements in Great Britain and the United States and anti-colonialist revolutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. French is always keenly aware of the collision among gender, race, and class, never glossing over women's shiftingposition on the power scale as both oppressed and oppressor. She doesn't shy away from biology either, acknowledging the challenges presented by the female body's unique ability to bear life. This is not a simple repackaging of history for women. French instead gives life to a new way of looking at the world as it exists for women. Her history is sure to inspire the burgeoning feminist in every woman and man. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries and essential for universities with women's studies programs.