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Gloria Steinem: Her Passions, Politics, and Mystique Hardcover – December, 1997

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Stern (Toyland: The High-Stakes Game of the Toy Industry, LJ 3/15/97) has attempted a readable portrait of a complex contemporary whose story is not nearly concluded. She obviously likes and admires Steinem but is not blind to inconsistencies in her subject's recollection or interpretation of events and personalities. Though the tone is personal, the work is apparently thoroughly documented (the bibliography, index, and illustrations were not seen). Stern corrects a few points in Carolyn Heilbrun's landmark biography, Education of a Woman (LJ 10/1/95), although Heilbrun's is the more literary work. Avoiding esoteric psychological or feminist theorizing, Stern still provides a clear context for Steinem's development both as a public figure and as an exemplar of the movement that seeks to have women define themselves as autonomous individuals. An appropriate commemoration of Ms. magazine's 25th anniversary. For all collections.?Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria P.L., B.C.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Feminist icon, goddess, social climber, bunny--who is Gloria Steinem? All of the above, according to a serious new biography that examines Steinem's life from early childhood to ``this-is- what-63-is-like.'' To many, if not most, who came of age around 1972, Steinem is synonymous with the second feminist revolution. That year marked the launch of Ms. magazine, the popular journal of women's revolt against the patriarchy. According to Stern (coauthor, Toyland: The High-Stakes Game of the Toy Industry, 1990), Steinem was late to the revolution. Her famous article, ``A Bunny's Tale,'' about her debilitating experiences as a Playboy Bunny, was published in the same year as Betty Friedan's seminal The Feminine Mystique, but Steinem's ``click'' did not come until 1969, when she attended a speakout on abortion. From then on, her liberal ideology and her writings began to focus on women. What's new here is a real look at Steinem off the public platform, at the ambitious woman who barred marriage and children from her agenda but used men as access to the next rung of the social ladder. A long list of lovers here runs from the well-connected scion of a musical family to publishing and real-estate mogul Mort Zuckerman. Over the years, Steinem managed to keep most of the lovers as friends. That was tangential to developing herself, with the help of eloquent podium partners, as spokeswoman for the movement. Stern points up that in spite of--or perhaps because of--Steinem's short skirts, iconic hairstyle, possible face-lift, and questionable protestations that good looks have been a hindrance, she is kind, caring, generous, and genuinely dedicated to women's interests. Some of the more touching stories of the formative years have been revealed in Steinem's own books but are told here with a perspective that glorifies a heroine for the '90s, kohl eyeliner and all. (16 pages photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 501 pages
  • Publisher: Birch Lane Pr; First Edition edition (December 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559724099
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559724098
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,294,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Sidney Ladersohn Stern's excellent biography of Gloria Steinemreveals the person behind the streaked blonde mane and aviatorglasses. The character that emerges from these pages has devoted her life to speaking, organizing and fundraising for women's groups and issues. Generous, warm and witty, she's a born leader. She drives herself to exhaustion to help the underdog. She is also insecure, a sucker for dubious causes (example: victims of satanic cults), and a liar. Repeatedly, Stern shows, she's distorted the truth in her favor - even shaving years off her age.
By collecting telling details, describing them clearly and analyzing them astutely, Stern has shaped a mountain of information into a vivid, nuanced portrait. Sadly, it proved to be too nuanced for its subject. Stern explains in the afterward that Steinem tried to persuade her to change certain details, and when she failed, worked to discredit the book. Too bad. This book offers a realistic picture of a female leader, and thereby does its own bit for womankind.
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By A Customer on December 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My mother is quoted in this book as having said, "Poor Gloria". After reading the highly researched and, at least regarding the Waite High School years, mostly accurate bio, and from a vantage point of the intervening 50 years, it is appropriate to echo, "Poor Gloria". Her story is a string of betrayals, a fear of intimacy, promiscuity and relentless self promotion. I was put on to this book by another of our CAT group who has been married for 43 years, with her husband raised 5 children, traveled globally and is president of a tour company. I, with my husband of 45 years, raised 4 children, one a state senator, another an advocate for the disabled. I was the first to air a consumer program on tv in the country, and the first woman managing editor of a tv news operation. Ours was the first generation whose fathers expected us to go to college....as many of our 16 member CATs did...and realized our individual potential. Gloria became famous. Most of us became fulfilled.
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