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Equal: Women Reshape American Law Hardcover – February 13, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Both a compelling read and a meticulously deeply inspiring account of the varied cases through which American women have fought to gain equality under the law. It will fascinate general readers and specialists alike.” (Sandra M. Gilbert)

“Beautifully written and assiduously researched, Fred Strebeigh’s book puts a human face on the movement toward legal recognition of sex discrimination. Equal gives us an unprecedented view into the minds of the plaintiffs, lawyers, and judges who brought about a seismic shift in the law. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in how each individual can improve our society through compassion, drive, and creativity. This book is both inspired and inspiring.” (Suzanne A. Kim, Associate Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law, Newark)

Equal offers a compelling account of America’s leading women’s rights cases. Through painstaking research, Strebeigh gives us the "story behind the story" of the lawyers, litigants, and judges who made history. With its sharp insight, telling details, and humorous commentary, this book belongs both in law school curricula and on bedside tables. It is a great read and a major contribution to our understanding of women’s rights and constitutional law.” (Professor Deborah L. Rhode, Stanford Law School, past president of the American Association of Law Schools)

“Strebeigh gives us heroes and villains, and above all he shows us the price--and the human stakes--of the struggle for equality.” (Professor Samantha Power, Harvard University, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for A Problem from Hell)

“Could America really have been so sexist only four decades ago? In this groundbreaking book, Fred Strebeigh reminds us that from the office to the bedroom to the Supreme Court, the answer is yes. Case by case, character by character, detail by detail, he traces how far we have come. When I reached the last page, I wanted to stand and cheer both the intrepid lawyers who changed our country and the author who has so richly, clearly, and memorably chronicled their achievements.” (Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, At Large and at Small, and Ex Libris)

About the Author

Fred Strebeigh has written for The Atlantic, Smithsonian, and the New York Times Magazine. He teaches nonfiction writing at Yale University and lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393065553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393065558
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey L. Kilbreth on August 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Equal is an important contribution to late 20th Century American history. As one reviewer asked, "Could America really have been so sexist only four decades ago?" The answer is simply astonishing. Strebeigh is a master of non-fiction writing - anyone can enjoy this book - you don't have to be a lawyer. It tells the inspiring story of how (mostly) women lawyers fought tenaciously for 30 years for equal rights for women before (mostly) male judges, and finally achieved (most) of the equality that 50% of our people have always deserved and that we now take (mostly) for granted. It didn't happen without a fight, and the issues are still not completely resolved. You will never think about the Supreme Court or the Constitution in quite the same way again. I'm giving it to my daughters and friends for Christmas.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Equal is definitely on my Feminist Must-Read Book List. I am a feminist (and a new attorney) but I had no idea how deep institutionalized gender discrimination went mere decades ago. This book was amazing.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent telling of the stories behind the headlines on some of the most important cases and legislation affecting women's rights. It's a history book that reads as easily as a novel. Well-written, painstakingly researched.
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent book, well researched. Could have been a little more readable, but fascinating.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hard to believe a book detailing a series of court cases can have dramatic momentum, but this one does. It's a page turner.
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