This is the first comprehensive directory to document many of the founders and leaders of what is now often referred to as the second wave of feminism, between 1963 and 1975. It includes biographical sketches of about 2,200 individuals, mostly women, who reignited the women's movement of the early twentieth century and managed to make permanent changes in customs and laws. The biographical sketches represent many factions, all parts of the country, all races and ethnicities, and many political ideologies. Editor Love has worked as an editor, writer, and journalist, and she is currently on the board of the Veteran Feminists of America (VFA), a nonprofit organization for veterans of the second wave of the feminist movement.
Alphabetically arranged, each entry includes a brief description of the role the person played in the movement. Entries include such diverse persons as authors, members of rock bands like Deadly Nightshade, sociologists, politicians, NOW leaders, and cartoonists. Much of the information was supplied by the subjects themselves, and all biographies were sent to the subjects for approval. There are a small number of black-and-white photographs in the center of the book; the only thing that could have made the book better would have been pictures of all the people included. The name index at the end of the volume includes not just the names of the people profiled in the sketches but also other people mentioned in those sketches.
Although numerous other works cover individuals who were active in the movement, there does not appear to be any other work that chronicles so many of the people who were active over this course of time. Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook (Greenwood, 1999) offers a small sampling of the women in the current volume. Well written and easy to use, this encyclopedia is recommended for all academic libraries and large public libraries; there really is no other publication with the same scope. Diana Shonrock
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Documenting key feminists who ignited the second wave women's movement
Barbara J. Love’s Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975 will be the first comprehensive directory to document many of the founders and leaders (including both well-known and grassroots organizers) of the second wave women's movement. It tells the stories of more than two thousand individual women and a few notable men who together reignited the women's movement and made permanent changes to entrenched customs and laws.
The biographical entries on these pioneering feminists represent their many factions, all parts of the country, all races and ethnic groups, and all political ideologies. Nancy Cott's foreword discusses the movement in relation to the earlier first wave and presents a brief overview of the second wave in the context of other contemporaneous social movements.