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Crossing Swords: Mary Baker Eddy vs. Victoria Claflin Woodhull and the Battle for the Soul of Marriage Paperback – July 4, 2015
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CROSSING SWORDS gives the reader insights into the lives of two important 19th century American women who were ahead of their time. ... Those who enjoy reading books on 19th century American history, modern religious movements, or women's studies will really enjoy reading this book. -LISA COVINGTON, Manhattan Book Review
How the opposing philosophies, the puritanical background of Mary and the unconcerned outlook of Victoria, played together in molding the American view of women in society comes alive in these pages. ... the vision of enlightened womanhood as it existed then is presented here, in clear and concise terms, with special attention in giving equal due to the almost opposing views of both the pioneers. -ROY T. JAMES, Readers' Favorite
To say that Safronoff has done her homework is an understatement; the book is extremely well researched and documented... Crossing Swords has broad-spectrum appeal because Cindy Peyser Safronoff writes intelligently without being overly academic; however, scholars will find much to ponder and appreciate. Anyone interested in the suffragist andwomen's rights movements will enjoy the historical element, but the personal lives of Eddy and Woodhull are what make this book most enjoyable, thought provoking, and illuminating. -KRISTINE HALL, Reader Views
CROSSING SWORDS tells the intertwined tales of Victoria Woodhull and Mary Baker Eddy two fearless American iconoclasts whose work on sex, love, and women s rights changed the course of American culture. Cindy Peyser Safronoff does a great job of bringing these fascinating women back to life in all of their brilliance and eccentricity for a new generation of readers. -DEBBY APPLEGATE, Pulitzer Prize winner for The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher
CROSSING SWORDS is a fascinating look at two Victorian woman leaders in the female cultural war of their day. Mary Baker Eddy, the famed founder of Christian Science, battled Free Love while flamboyant Victoria Woodhull championed it. Safronoff deserves our praise for a well-crafted biography about two riveting opposites, who both fought fiercely for their avante garde rights, no matter how far apart, and never gave up. -MYRA MACPHERSON, author of The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age
CROSSING SWORDS is a fascinating analysis of very modern-day theme: marriage vs. free-love and the role of women in society. Ms. Safronoff has unearthed a gem of a story that still resonates today! -SUZANNE VENKER, author of The Two-Income Trap: Why Parents are Choosing to Stay Home
CROSSING SWORDS was deeply thought provoking. I felt like I was a bystander witnessing history happening. It invoked great compassion and respect for each of the women as they struggled to actualize their visions for mankind. -SANFORD C. WILDER, author of Listening to Grace: Unlearning Insights and Poems
CROSSING SWORDS is a terrific book - a fine blend of excellent writing and superior research. Safronoff's twined intellectual biographies of Mary Baker Eddy and Victoria Claflin Woodhull brings two very different women together, between the covers of one book. So very different and yet so alike, they cross swords in this masterful account. --DR. LORRAINE MCCONAGHY, Public Historian, Seattle
A remarkably even-handed exploration of the little-known debates — and occasional ironic convergences — between two charismatic 19th century women whose support for women’s rights was attached to very different views about marriage and sexuality. –STEPHANIE COONTZ, author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage
About the Author
A graduate of The Bush School, The Evergreen State College, and the University of Washington Genealogy and Family History program, author Cindy Peyser Safronoff combined her interests in historical research, female leadership, religious theology, and civic dialogs to explore this 1870s marriage debate. Safronoff currently divides her time between urban Seattle on the liberal Left Coast and suburban St. Louis, conservative crossroads of the midwestern Heartland and the southern Bible Belt. This biregional lifestyle has helped her better understand the conflicting viewpoints within American culture explored in CROSSING SWORDS.
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