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The Solitude of Self: Thinking About Elizabeth Cady Stanton Paperback – September 5, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“The real story of this illuminating study is not only that of a brave American's fight for equality of the sexes, but of the human yearning to be truly free, and of the lonely, fearful struggle with society, and even with oneself, that such a noble goal entails.” ―Ronald Steel, author of In Love With Night: The American Romance With Robert Kennedy

“Gornick's gorgeous prose brings alive the magnificent Elizabeth Cady Stanton in all her brilliance, complexity, and prescient understanding of the centrality of the 'woman question' to American democracy. This is a book for all who care about feminism, and also for those who care about the country itself, its deepest and finest aspirations.” ―
Christine Stansell, author of American Moderns: Bohemian New York and the Creation of a New Century

Wow. Not only does Vivian Gornick transform Elizabeth Cady Stanton from a name in a Women's Studies class into a flesh-and-blood lady, she convinced me that feminism itself is as American as apple pie.” ―Jennifer Baumgardner, co-author of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future

“There's a curious excitement that moves through Vivian Gornick's thoughts about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 'Suffrage,' she writes, 'was the university in which [Stanton's] feeling intelligence was now enrolled . . ' And one suspects it's Gornick's too. Not the movement for the vote, but the deeper wrestling with the obstacles to equality; religion, for example, and the solitude of the self. These were Stanton's contributions to radical feminism, and Gornick rescues them from that brilliant nineteenth-century oratory.” ―
Carol Brightman, author of Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World

“In this vivid triumph of biography and cultural criticism, Vivian Gornick discovers at the root of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's polemic a sustaining and deeply American philosophy of the self. Leading us into the thinking of this great feminist, Gornick offers a way to embrace the solitude that is, for every thinking human being, the fiercest attachment of all.” ―
Honor Moore, author of The White Blackbird

“In heartfelt and toughminded prose, Vivan Gornick illuminates the fearless intellect of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the first American feminist to grasp the essential truth that an independent woman must free herself from worship of all man-made institutions--including those purporting to speak for God. We all stand today on the shoulders of this giant.” ―
Susan Jacoby, author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

“In this wonderful biographical essay, Vivian Gornick notes that Mary Wollstonecraft and Simone de Beauvoir each distilled her passion and philosophy into one major book about and for women. But their nineteenth-century peer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whose medium was the political speech, wrote no single beacon text, no summa. So Gornick has done it for her. Better late than never--although in the on-going story of feminism this ‘essence of Stanton' is, in fact, alas, early.” ―
Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, author of Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World

“A powerful meditation that is all at once informative and moving.” ―
Martin Duberman, author of Paul Robeson: A Biography

About the Author

Vivian Gornick's books include Approaching Eye Level, The End of The Novel of Love, and The Situation and The Story. She lives in New York City.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 152 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0374530564
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0374530563
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.35 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 22 ratings

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