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Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement & the New Left
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Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement & the New Left

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  182 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
The women most crucial to the feminist movement that emerged in the 1960's arrived at their commitment and consciousness in response to the unexpected and often shattering experience of having their work minimized, even disregarded, by the men they considered to be their colleagues and fellow crusaders in the civil rights and radical New Left movements. On the basis of yea ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 15th 2010 by Vintage (first published February 27th 1979)
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Jun 05, 2009 Zach rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A borderline racist narrative about white women fixing the lives of African Americans in the South and then moving on to improving their own lives. Don't read this.
She does not use a personal account like Friedan. Instead, she makes a historical argument that the roots of 2nd wave feminism come from women’s experiences in earlier social movements. Black power and the experiences of organizing, protesting, and cross gender involvement in the Civil Rights movement shaped 2nd wave feminism. The New Left also shaped the Women’s Liberation movement both positively and negatively. Positively in that organizational skill, self-confidence, political acumen, and a ...more
Craig Werner
Apr 22, 2014 Craig Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, sixties
Interesting re-reading this book more than 30 years after its original publication in 1979. At the time it was published, Evans' argument that the women's movement--then at something like its high point of public support--had its roots in the movements of the 1960s made a huge impression. Now, much of what she argued is simply the standard wisdom. What struck me on re-reading was the emphasis she puts on the role of southern women with deep religious convictions in the interracial civil rights m ...more
A considerably easy read for a monograph which draws in the relationship between the CRM, NL, and the emergence of the WLM. What is important to note while reading this book, however, is when the book was actually written, and the reason as to why it was written. Sara Evans is a historian who had written this monograph while she was working towards her doctrine in graduate school, which was then later published in 1979. Although Evans does accredit herself to a certain degree for participating w ...more
Andrew Martin
Sep 11, 2012 Andrew Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
crucial. succeeds at everything you would imagine from the subtitle, but also just a really nice summary of the linkages that brought the left from SNCC to SDS and the anti-war movement. curiously quiet on LGBTQ questions, which is more than a touch ironic when you consider that a big part of the thesis here is about the invisibility of female actors in the histories of 60's political movements...
May 19, 2011 Mattie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, it was good to hear about the how the women of the 60's stood out from the crowd in an attempt to liberate themselves from the constraints of American society. This book was great because it had a lot of quotes from different members of various groups, it makes for a great primary source!
Sep 22, 2012 Aaron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The case is well made for the masculinist climate of the white wing of the movement being responsible for the emergence of Women's Lib.

However the book seems haphazardly put together with several anachronies that are not justified by thematic or theoretical concerns. Diachronic or synchronic? Can't have it both ways.
Mar 23, 2015 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: compulsory, eh
A lot about this book really bothers me, but that's probably because it's based on oral history interviews. Really interesting look at how the women's rights movement got started and why its demographics (upper/middle class white) ended up the way they did.
Mar 26, 2010 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-school
Interesting, if dated, look at the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and the beginnings of second wave feminism.
James Tracy
Pretty ambitious undertaking...the roots of feminism from other movements. Alternately suceeds and fails chapter by chapter. Good starting point to understand this part of history.
Krista rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2013
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Sep 03, 2008 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maybe
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Jun 29, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as relevant today as I read it in the '90s in college and as when she wrote it in the '80s.
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Matthew Sutherland
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Sara M. Evans is a distinguished scholar and Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Minnesota where she taught women's history since 1976. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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