Living with History / Making Social Change

Living with History / Making Social Change

by Gerda Lerner

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This stimulating collection of essays in an autobiographical framework spans the period from 1963 to the present. It encompasses Gerda Lerner's theoretical writing and her organizational work in transforming the history profession and in establishing Women's History as a mainstream field.

Six of the twelve essays are new, written especially for this volume; the others have previously appeared in small journals or were originally presented as talks, and have been revised for this book. Several essays discuss feminist teaching and the problems of interpretation of autobiography and memoir for the reader and the historian. Lerner's reflections on feminism as a worldview, on the meaning of history writing, and on problems of aging lend this book unusual range and depth.

Together, the essays illuminate how thought and action connected in Lerner's life, how the life she led before she became an academic affected the questions she addressed as a historian, and how the social and political struggles in which she engaged informed her thinking. Written in lucid, accessible prose, the essays will appeal to the general reader as well as to students at all levels. Living with History / Making Social Change offers rare insight into the life work of one of the leading historians of the United States.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807887868
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 03/31/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 248
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Gerda Lerner (1920-2013) was author or editor of twelve books in Women's History and one of the preeminent scholars responsible for the rediscovery of the field in the 1960s. A founding member of the National Organization for Women and one of the creators of Women's History Month, she was Robinson-Edwards Professor Emerita of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her books include Fireweed: A Political Biography.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

In this extraordinary and fascinating collection of essays, Gerda Lerner, the most distinguished pioneer of Women's History, gives us an autobiographical account of her efforts to transform history and society through the study of women's lives. Here is the deeply examined life of a great intellectual, a feminist theorist, an imaginative educator, and a relentless political activist. Her meditation on aging will no doubt become a classic essay for all of us who follow in her path.—Ruth Rosen, Emerita, University of California, Davis, author of The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America

Living with History / Making Social Change is a moving self portrait that provides a sense of Lerner as a singularly creative and forceful individual who has participated in—and learned from—some of the major social movements of our time. There is inspiration to be found in each of these essays.—Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University

This book is a gift from a great historian to all those who seek a life of learning, teaching, and making change. Gerda Lerner's powerful memoir, Fireweed, ended where this collection begins, with her emergence as a founder of the modern field of Women's History. Here we get an inside view of how a generation of women scholars transformed a profession and how, in practice, one of that generation's preeminent leaders has taught later generations to think and write. Perhaps most important, we learn by example how a lifetime of courage and reflection can enable one to meet old age with courage and grace.—Jacquelyn Hall, Spruill Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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