When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made [NOOK Book]

Overview

If you grew up in the era of mood rings and lava lamps, you probably remember Free to Be . . . You and Me--the groundbreaking children's record, book, and television special that debuted in 1972. Conceived by actress and producer Marlo Thomas and promoted by Ms. magazine, it captured the spirit of the growing women's movement and inspired girls and boys to challenge stereotypes, value cooperation, and respect diversity. In this lively collection marking the fortieth anniversary of Free to Be . . . You and Me, ...
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When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made

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Overview

If you grew up in the era of mood rings and lava lamps, you probably remember Free to Be . . . You and Me--the groundbreaking children's record, book, and television special that debuted in 1972. Conceived by actress and producer Marlo Thomas and promoted by Ms. magazine, it captured the spirit of the growing women's movement and inspired girls and boys to challenge stereotypes, value cooperation, and respect diversity. In this lively collection marking the fortieth anniversary of Free to Be . . . You and Me, thirty-two contributors explore the creation and legacy of this popular children's classic.
Featuring a prologue by Marlo Thomas, When We Were Free to Be offers an unprecedented insiders' view by the original creators, as well as accounts by activists and educators who changed the landscape of childhood in schools, homes, toy stores, and libraries nationwide. Essays document the rise of non-sexist children's culture during the 1970s and address how Free to Be still speaks to families today.
Contributors are Alan Alda, Laura Briggs, Karl Bryant, Becky Friedman, Nancy Gruver, Carol Hall, Carole Hart, Dorothy Pitman Hughes, Joe Kelly, Cheryl Kilodavis, Dionne Kirschner, Francine Klagsbrun, Stephen Lawrence, Laura L. Lovett, Courtney Martin, Karin A. Martin, Tayloe McDonald, Trey McIntyre, Peggy Orenstein, Leslie Paris, Miriam Peskowitz, Deesha Philyaw, Abigail Pogrebin, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Robin Pogrebin, Patrice Quinn, Lori Rotskoff, Deborah Siegel, Jeremy Adam Smith, Barbara Sprung, Gloria Steinem, and Marlo Thomas.

Publisher's Note: Late in the production of this book, the text on pages 252 and 253 was accidentally reversed. As a result, one should read page 253 before turning to page 252 and then proceeding on to page 254. The publisher deeply regrets this error.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] thoughtful, nuanced work of scholarship. . . . The essays engage Free to Be from a diverse array of perspectives, situate it in a clear and compelling historical context, and bring to bear satisfying cultural analysis and cultural criticism."--H-Childhood

"Recommended. All levels/libraries."--Choice

"Like any compilation, some entries are more compelling than others, but overall I really liked the extremely broad approach, ranging from behind-the-scenes accounts of the original production to critiques of how well the material has held up in terms of the changing social values. Anyone interested in nonsexist child rearing or the history of women's liberation should pick this up."--Sarah Holt, Children's Book Buyer, Left Bank Books, St. Louis

"Readers familiar with the original record or book, both still available, and researchers interested in social, gender, and media studies will appreciate this work."--Library Journal

"An unprecedented insiders' view by the original creators, as well as accounts by activists and educators who changed the landscape of childhood in schools, homes, toy stores, and libraries nationwide."--Forces of Geek

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807837559
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 11/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Lori Rotskoff teaches at the Barnard Center for Research on Women and is author of Love on the Rocks: Men, Women, and Alcohol in Post-World War II America.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Lori Rotskoff Laura L. Lovett 1

Inspiration

Prologue Marlo Thomas 13

Free to Be Memories Dionne Gordon Kirschner 21

Part 1 Creating a World for Free Children The Foundations of Free to Be … You and Me Lori Rotskoff 27

In the Beginning Carole Hart 35

A Thousand Fond Memories and a Few Regrets Letty Cottin Pogrebin 41

Mommies and Daddies Carol Hall 49

Free to Be … the Music Stephen Lawrence 56

Thinking about Free to Be Alan Alda 59

Beyond the Fun and Song Francine Klagsbrun 62

Free to Be … a Child Gloria Steinem 66

How a Preschool Teacher Became Free to Be Barbara Sprung 71

Part 2 Free to Be … You and Me in Historical Context

Where the Children Are Free

Free to Be … You and Me, Second-Wave Feminism, and 1970s American Children's Culture Leslie Paris 81

"Little Women's Libbers" and "Free to Be Kids" Children and the Struggle for Gender Equality in the United States Lori Rotskoff 92

Child's Play Boys' Toys, Women's Work, and "Free Children" Laura L. Lovett 111

Getting the Message Audiences Respond to Free to Be … You and Me Lori Rotskoff 127

Part 3 Parents Are Still People Gender and Child Rearing across Generations

Genderfication Starts Here Dispatches from My Twins' First Year Deborah Siegel 137

Free to Be Conflicted Robin Pogrebin 146

Ringside Seat at the Revolution Abigail pogrebin 150

Free to Be the Dads We Want to Be Jeremy Adam Smith 154

Little Bug Wants a Doll Laura Briggs 160

Growing a Free to Be Family Nancy Gruver Joe Kelly 165

Can William Have a Doll Now? The Legacy of Free to Be in Parenting Aduice Books Karin A. Martin 173

Part 4 How Free Are We to Be? Cultural Legacies and Critiques

Free to Be or Free to Buy? Peggy Orenstein 185

On Square Dancing and Title IX Miriam Peskowitz 191

"William's Doll" and Me Karl Bryant 199

When Michael Jackson Grew Up A Mother's Reflections on Race, Pop Culture, and Self-Acceptance Deesha Philyaw 207

Whose World Is This? Courtney E. Martin 215

Mario and Me Becky Friedman 222

Free to Be on West 80th Street Dorothy Pitman Hughes 229

A Free Perspective Patrice Quinn 234

When We Grow Up Trey Mcintyre 240

The Price of Freedom Tayloe Mcdonald 245

Lessons and Legacies You're Free to Be … a Champion Cheryl Kilodavis 251

Epilogue Laura L. Lovett 256

Appendix: The Songs, Stories, and Skits of Free to Be … You and Me A Content Overview Lori Rotskoff Laura L. Lovett 263

Notes 277

About the Contributors 297

Acknowledgments 307

Copyright Credits for Contributions to the Book 311

Index 313

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