Joyous Greetings: The First International Women's Movement, 1830-1860 / Edition 1

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Over one hundred fifty years ago, champions of women's rights in the United States, Britain, France, and Germany formed the world's earliest international feminist movement. Joyous Greetings is the first book to tell their story.
From Seneca Falls in upstate New York to the barricades of revolutionary Paris, from the Crystal Palace in London to small towns in the German Rhineland, early feminists united to fight for the cause of women. At the height of the Victorian period, they insisted their sex deserved full political equality, called for a new kind of marriage based on companionship, claimed the right to divorce and to get custody of their children, and argued that an unjust economic system forced women into poorly paid jobs. They rejected the traditional view that women's subordination was preordained, natural, and universal. In restoring these daring activists' achievements to history, Joyous Greetings passes on their inspiring and empowering message to today's new generation of feminists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this new look at the networks established among early nineteenth century feminists, Bonnie Anderson documents the importance of international influences in the building of movements for women's emancipation. The book challenges the idea that these movements were uniquely national in character and insists instead on the fact that feminism was an international movement from its inception. Joyous Greetings, clearly and passionately written, is a welcome addition to the history of feminism."—Joan Wallach Scott, Institute for Advanced Study

"Bonnie Anderson has given us a very original and exciting portrait of 'the first international women's movement.' From the women's rights activists of Seneca Falls, New York, to the 'Vesuviennes' of Parisian Street battles, she shows us women who knew themselves to be sisters and struggled for the universal emancipation of their sex. Anderson's work will permanently alter how we will see a whole generation of pioneering European and American feminists."—Ellen Carol DuBois, University of California, Los Angeles

"Joyous Greetings is joyous news to nineteenth-century women's historians in the U.S. and Europe. Tracing the personal and political connections among a core group of twenty woman's rights advocates from the U.S., England, France, and the German states, many of whom met each other as they travelled or migrated over the course of their lives and all of whom corresponded with pioneer activists in other countries, Bonnie Anderson offers the first in-depth portrait of mid-nineteenth century international feminism. Linking revolutionary events in France and the German states with radical activities in England and the U.S., this book argues persuasively for the significance of international connections in inspiring and sustaining national movements to advance the rights of women. In the process it changes our understanding of feminism in each of the nations discussed and opens up whole new worlds for future exploration."—Nancy A. Hewitt, Rutgers University

[for adoption] "Joyous Greetings is joyous news to nineteenth-century women's historians in the U.S. and Europe. This is a marvelous and important book which will, for the first time, recognize and analyze the international connections among early women's rights advocates....I would certainly use this book in both undergraduate and graduate classes."—Nancy A. Hewitt, Rutgers University

"Thorough, compelling, and inspiring. Anderson showcases an array of European and American feminists—Frederika Bremer, Jeanne Deroin, Lucretia Mott, Pauline Roland, Ernestine Rose, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton—and highlights their work in promoting a world free of sexism, racism, and inequality....Engrossing and insightful"—Eleanor J. Bader, Library Journal

Eleanor J. Bader
Thorough, compelling, and inspiring. Anderson showcases an array of European and American feminists--Frederika Bremer, Jeanne Deroin, Lucretia Mott, Pauline Roland, Ernestine Rose, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton--and highlights their work in promoting a world free of sexism, racism, and inequality....Engrossing and insightful.
—(Library Journal)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this erudite, exhaustively researched history, Brooklyn College history professor Anderson (A History of Their Own) examines how the dramatic impact of the Industrial Revolution on Western Europe and the United States ignited an international feminist movement--not just a series of discrete feminist activities in various countries, as other historians have posited. Centering her narrative on the contributions of a core group of 20 feminists, she reveals how, without the benefit of Internet or telephones, these American, English, Scottish, French, German and Swedish women shared ideas, platforms and organizing techniques to create political change throughout the U.S. and Western Europe. Intent on gaining the rights to own land, divorce, retain custody of children, maintain sexual independence, obtain birth control and receive fair payment for their work, these early feminists wanted full equality with men; for them, more than just suffrage was at stake. Iconoclasts and radicals, they saw inherent links between class struggle, racism, slavery and the oppression of women. Except for Elizabeth Cady Stanton, all of the women in the core group may be unknown to most modern-day American feminists, underscoring Anderson's contention that much feminist history has yet to be written. Among them are Fredrika Bremer, a Swedish woman who fought for control of her own earnings and ultimately changed her country's patrimonial laws, and Jeanne Deroin, a French socialist and revolutionary repeatedly imprisoned for her work for women's rights. Drawing on letters, pamphlets and other primary materials that bring these dynamic women alive, Anderson's narrative offers a keen sense of history-in-the-making and will leave readers yearning to know more. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195143973
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A life-long New Yorker, Bonnie S. Anderson is a Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where she teaches women's history and British history. With Judith Zinsser, she co-authored the classic two-volume narrative A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present (revised edition, OUP, 1999). Long active in the women's movement, she has been a volunteer rape crisis counselor at St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village for over ten years.

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