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Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History Paperback – September 23, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1976, graduate student Ulrich asserted in an obscure scholarly article that well-behaved women seldom make history. But Ulrich, now at Harvard, made history, winning the Pulitzer and the Bancroft Prizes for A Midwife's Tale—and her slogan did, too: it began popping up on T-shirts, greeting cards and buttons. Why the appeal, Ulrich wondered? And what makes a woman qualify as well-behaved or rebellious? Several chapters of this accessible and beautifully written study are brilliant. In one, Ulrich follows the lead of Virginia Woolf (who invented an ill-fated fictional sister of Shakespeare) by digging into what we know—and don't know—about the women in the Bard's family. In another, she offers a piercing analysis of four 19th-century Harriets—ex-slaves Tubman, Jacobs and Powell, and novelist Stowe—to uncover the interplay of race and gender in questions of liberation. And in a third, richly illustrated chapter, she utilizes a medieval book of days as a window into women's labor through the ages. If other chapters, such as a wide-ranging exploration of the Amazon myth and a rumination on second-wave feminism, don't cohere as tightly or showcase Ulrich's strengths as an extraordinary interpreter of ordinary records, this can be forgiven in a work that is so often sharp and insightful. 26 illus. (Sept. 7)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Unlike her previous works, which focused on a single location, era, or life, Laurel Thatcher Ulrichâs fifth work of nonfiction takes a broad view of womenâs history. Though critics felt that her associations and organizing devices were clever, a few questioned some of the connections between stories. Critics also diverged over Ulrichâs style: some found it dry and academic; others considered it clear and compelling. Ulrich, a pioneer in womenâs history in the 1970s and 1980s, continues to produce works that provide a fascinating peek into the pastâ"into what a womanâs life was, and might still be, were it not for these spirited pioneers whose stories deserve to be remembered.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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Because the author coined a phrase in the 1970s that since has been seen (often with "rarely" in place of "seldom") on T-shirts and bumper sticker and slogans just about everywhere.
The author addresses this in great detail in a very long preface which, in an of itself, could be the basis for a college course.
The book examines the lives of three very distinct women from three very distinct centuries and eras, yet discovers commonalities amongst the three and explores them.
This is not a easy sit down and read book, yet the material flows smoothly. She can be a bit long-winded at times, yet her insight can takes away one's breath.
This is an excellent resource for all people wanting to explore humanity, as well as a specific side of our species :-)
I am a midwife, dedicated to women and their transitions in life , such as motherhood, grandmother hood, and the journey from maiden to mother to matriarch to crone. I learned much. And it reinforced my beliefs and knowledge.