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Free Woman: The Life and Times of Victoria Woodhull Paperback – February 28, 2011

1 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A century later, Victoria Woodhull has a great deal to teach us." -- Frances Tarlton Farenthold, Attorney-At-Law --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

A biographer and novelist, Marion Meade is the author of nine books, including The Unruly Life of Woody Allen, Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase, Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?, Madame Blavatsky: The Woman Behind the Myth, Sybille, Stealing Heaven: The Love Story of Heloise and Abelard, Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography, and Bitching. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: e-reads.com (February 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617560529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617560521
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,438,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book, if I understand the introduction properly, is a reworked version of a "young adult" biography, republished as a Kindle book. Don't let the fact that it is the only Kindle'd biography of Woodhull available tempt you into buying this book; it will annoy the specialist reader, and the generalist reader will come away from the book with a distorted view of Woodhull's views and her life.

The author presents a filtered and partial view of Woodhull, minimizing her involvement in the free love, Spiritualist and early socialist/communist movements, and leaving out her significant efforts as an apologist for eugenics entirely -- possibly in the name of sanitizing Woodhull for presentation as a strong precursor to modern feminist readers. Unfortunately, not only does this filtering strip away the origins of many of Woodhull's positions, and create awkward moments in the text, but it reduces a rich, complex and important figure in several important nineteenth century cultural movements to a cardboard cutout.

Specialists will be completely put off by the fictionalizing in the text, of which there is a great deal. While it is possible -- for example -- that documentary records of conversations between Woodhull and Colonel Blood, during the early days of their courtship, exist, allowing us to know *precisely* what they said to one another during a particular moonlit walk, I doubt it.

The author's demonstrated understanding of nineteenth century American culture is -- despite the "life and times" billing of the title -- is shallow, almost cartoonishly so at times. There is a very partial "life", and virtually no "times" in this book.

Definitely not worth ten bucks. The Wikipedia entry on Woodhull will provide an equal number of facts, with fewer distortions, and less effort required.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Full of inaccuracies and half truths, it's obvious the author did not research her subject very well at all. Many incidents appear to just be made up. This is not the biography of Victoria Woodhull that you want to read, there are plenty of others that were actually researched.
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