Socrates. Virgil. Sir Francis Bacon. The philosophers of Ancient Greece, the poets of Ancient Rome, and the essayists of late English Renaissance were men acknowledged as the great thinkers of their day. Later, men like Thomas Carlyle, Thomas Paine, and scores of others joined the prestigious circle of intellectual elites. While over time, the concept of the great thinker has evolved and redefined itself, it has not evolved to formally include women in its exclusive circle of members. Conspicuously absent are the names of female 'great thinkers' in intellectual studies_despite the skyrocketing interest in the American intellectual and the contribution by women to America's social and intellectual development. So, then, what does it mean to be an American woman intellectual in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries? How were/are women able to surmount the restrictive roles dictated by their respective societies? How have time and history silenced the contributions made by some women to the development of intellectual history? Voices Unbound: The Lives and Works of Twelve American Women Intellectuals addresses these questions. A collection of biographies and writings from the nineteenth century through the present, Voices Unbound speaks to the blatant omission of women from intellectual studies and at the same time begins the work of developing a women's intellectual tradition. Lydia Maria Child, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Margaret Mead, Susan Sontag, bell hooks_Voices Unbound recovers these and other notable yet neglected names from America's rich past and reintroduces these remarkable women and their writings to the American public. Thorough and insightful, Voices Unbound is an important book for all those studying American intellectual history and women's history.
Voices Unbound is an anthology, an analysis, a recovery, and a reintroduction. Most of all, it represents remarkable vision: Professor Willis's penetrating vision of American women's intellectual history, one that crosses borders, captures the tensions of the past, looks unblinkingly at the threats to the future of women's rights, and always finds the right way.
Linda Tarte Holley
A clear, fervent mapping of the American landscape marked by public and intellectual women from the pre-Civil War era to the present. She proffers finely drawn introductions for the twelve women she has selected and shows us what the intellectual landmarks are and how the road rose and fell away before these travelers. The book's power lies in the astuteness of the selections, the range of the speaking minds, and the clear-eyed view of teacher, scientist, activist, theorist, or artist.
Edward A. Shannon
Just as Voices Unbound offers voice to so many writers, its own voice is 'polyphonic.' At once anthology and scholarly study, personal reflection, and classroom textbook, it speaks to the reader with many voices from many perspectives. It is a fine addition to the study of American intellectual history.
This is a racially and ethnically diverse anthology of twelve notable American women intellectuals that is well researched yet readable and accessible. The primary documents are particularly appealing; they give an immediate sense of the energy and voice of each individual, with the women's sharp intellects, tongues, and wits demonstrated rather than merely described. In addition to being ideal for courses in women's studies and history, Voices Unvound: The Lives and Works of Twelve American Women Intellectuals is a useful reference resource for scholars, an excellent introductory book for people interested in women's studies, and a pleasurable and informative read for a wide audience.
Chapter 1 Introduction—"On the Shoulders of Giants": Women Public Intellectuals in America Part 2 I Pre-Civil War America Chapter 3 "Visionary of the New Age" Chapter 4 "First Woman in the Republic" Part 5 II Post-Civil War Era Chapter 6 "Intellectual Architect of American Feminism" Chapter 7 "A Mixed Legacy" Chapter 8 The New Woman Chapter 9 "Citizen of the World Part 10 III The Interwar Years Chapter 11 American Cassandra Chapter 12 An Unsuitable Job for a Woman Part 13 Postwar America Chapter 14 Keeping Memory Alive Chapter 15 A Passionate Friend Part 16 America at the Millenium Chapter 17 A New Mestiza Consciousness Chapter 18 Talking Back Chapter 19 Afterthoughts Chapter 20 Selected Readings Chapter 21 Index