- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (December 26, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140097198
- ISBN-13: 978-0140097191
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America, Revised Edition Revised Edition
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For anyone who wants a thorough introduction to the modern American women's movement, this is it: a rousing story of the revolution by a history professor who participated in its struggles. Ruth Rosen introduces her book by reminding readers of discriminatory practices that were common in pre-1960s America: "Harvard's Lamont Library was off-limits to women for fear they would distract male students. Newspaper ads separated jobs by sex; bars often refused to serve women; some states even excluded women from jury duty; no women ran big corporations or universities, worked as firefighters or police officers." She then proceeds to delineate the changes that make such discrimination seem unthinkable today. Her research takes in popular books, magazines, newspaper articles and television, the details of politics and law, and the individual liberation stories of not only famous feminists and thinkers but many lesser-known women as well.
By the end of the 1970s, there are not only legal abortions, Title IX, and more women than men at American universities but letters like the following submitted to Ms. magazine: "One day last week, I pulled up to a four-way stop in my taxi," writes Jill Wood. "At one of the stop signs sat a police officer in a cruiser, and at the third, a telephone installer in a van. What made the occasion memorable was the fact that all three of us were women. We celebrated with much joyful laughter." Yet, says Rosen, this is only the beginning of the struggle for human rights. The World Split Open should serve to galvanize the energies of a new generation of women and men. --Maria Dolan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Highlighting the dramatic changes in culture and attitudes brought about by the women's movement in the 1960s and '70s, Rosen details the rebirth of feminism, from the liberalism of NOW through women's liberation, which grew out of the civil rights movement. Her focus is on the "hidden injuries of sex" and how what had been construed as "personal" problems--abortion, compulsory heterosexuality, rape and sexual violence, prostitution and pornography--became political issues. She also sketches the political splits and crises--such as the Redstockings' attack on Gloria Steinem and FBI infiltration--that wrought havoc in the movement as the backlash against legal abortion and the ERA was gathering steam. Finally, Rosen outlines how, even as feminism was proliferating throughout the country among such groups as older women and trade union women and in educational and religious institutions, it was also becoming diluted by what she terms consumer feminism (selling goods and services to promote liberation) and therapeutic feminism, which turned the political back into the personal. A history professor at the University of California-Davis, Rosen often focuses on groups sometimes left out of other accounts, like women who grew up in left-wing homes in the 1940s and '50s and women of color. Because her narrative moves decade by decade, some subjects, like abortion, are presented in a scattered manner. But the clear chronology and extensive bibliography make this volume an excellent teaching tool that is accessible and broad enough to appeal to general readers as well. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (Feb.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This is a must read for anyone wanting to better understand not only the modern Women's Movement, but themselves. As a psychotherapist, educator and social worker at the University of Michigan, I work daily with those struggling with their roles and identities. I think this is an excellent resource for helping women (and men) understand their personal struggles in context, which as Rosen's title so aptly puts it, makes "The World Split Open", and thus the personal truly political.
That is it, the rest is all glowing praise.
Ruth Rosen tells a detailed and fascinating narrative of a struggle that still continues.
Despite her personal involvement (some parts of the narrative are in 1st person) Ms. Rosen is wonderfully honest.
The feminist movement (pick a label) is filled with uplifting and inspirational tales of victory through cohesion in the face of overwhelming odds, but it is also the story of bitter internal divisions.
Ruth's book tells an architypal tale of the human condition condensed into a manageable timeframe.
This is a book which can teach the brothers to learn from their sisters and help to lead us all into a brighter future of peace and love.