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In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  230 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Male-only admissions policies. Back-alley abortions. The pervasive belief that rape was a woman's fault. These were the shocking conditions that stirred students, mothers, businesswomen, and grandmothers to activism in the latter half of the twentieth century. In this stirring memoir, Susan Brownmiller, feminist activist and author of the landmark work on rape, Against Our ...more
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published November 9th 2000 by The Dial Press
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Sondra
Jan 16, 2010 Sondra rated it really liked it
I had trouble with the very beginning of Brownmiller's memoir. But I have to say I'm glad I stuck with it. Brownmiller's work is an essential read for any young feminist or person wanting to understand 2nd wave Women's Movement in the 1960's and 70's. She paints a world I never grew up in--a world without access to birth control, abortion rights, protection from sexual harassment or sexual expression, rape crisis centers, or job opportunities for women that existed beyond teacher or secretary. I ...more
Ciara
Sep 23, 2008 Ciara rated it liked it
Recommends it for: feminists, those alienated from their political communities, feminist historians, lady reporters
i remember the first time i read this book, which was shortly after it was released (2003-ish?), i really, really loved it. you know, due to my whole fascination with feminist-y memoirs from the era of the 1960s. i mean, in that respect, it's like this book was tailor-made to satisfy my interests. susan brownmiller was heavily involved in the second wave of the feminist movement. she wrote against our will, one of the first major feminist works about rape, & helped bring awareness to the iss ...more
AJ
A very comprehensive memoir detailing the second wave of feminism, from its radical start protesting the 1968 Miss America pageant to its demise in the 1980s due to infighting and clashing ideologies.

The book was surprisingly easy to follow, even though it covered many events and discussed hundreds of individual women (and some men) who helped change the course of history.

Topics include abortion rights, lesbianism, rape, sexual harassment, pornography and gender discrimination, among many others
...more
Dave
Jun 04, 2013 Dave rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism
A narrative description of the 2nd wave feminist movement (roughly the '60s and '70s), from the perspective of a prominent white feminist. There are almost certainly gaps in what this book can provide, but it was potent, especially when Brownmiller was discussing the early days before too much structure jumped into the mix. Above all, Brownmiller is able to weave subtle themes throughout the book about some of the challenges that the movement faced; a distrust of acknowledgement being a major on ...more
Emily
May 31, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing
An engaging memoir of Women's Liberation. I greatly augmented my list of books to read throughout reading this book from a number of works Brownmiller mentions.
I read most of this book on my commute to and from school. It is written clearly and organized in such a way that it was easy to put down and pick up. a few times a day and be able to stay involved.
Ryan Mishap
Nov 03, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it really liked it
I almost always enjoy memoirs of partisans, people who were involved in movements, and this is no exception. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of all her assertions about others (I'm sure there are always bad feelings and people remember things different) but this is an enjoyable read that puts you inside the early second wave feminist movement.
colleen
Mar 05, 2007 colleen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in feminism or history
Shelves: nonfiction, feminism
a great piece of history detailing the revival of the feminist movement in the late '60s and '70s. some of the names are still familiar today, and it's scary how we seem to be treading the same ground.
Jen
Jun 02, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life and the way I think about myself, my friends, my career and my future. It helped me find my voice.
Rebecca
Apr 04, 2009 Rebecca rated it liked it
Overall I found this book disappointing. Not so much due to the topics covered, but I didn't really think it was a memoir. Rape, abortion and battery were some of the hard topics covered, along with women and the media; the basis or beginnings of feminism and feminist authors. The whole era of this feminist movement can be summed up by the authors own words "suffered from burnout and divisive internal struggles stemming from the usual problems endemic to all movements for social change - theoret ...more
Pam
Jan 16, 2013 Pam rated it liked it
There were way too many names in this book, of people I don't know anything about. Some I learned about, but many I didn't, and I found myself wondering if she's mostly just trying not to piss people off by leaving them out. A daunting task for sure.

I don't know if this is the best book that could have been written on the topic, it's certainly not perfect, but I really appreciated it in so many ways. I was born in 1968, pretty much alongside second wave feminism. I sort of took it for granted an
...more
Skyler
Jan 23, 2016 Skyler rated it really liked it
Fascinating when viewed as a memoir, which excuses some of the author's descriptions of the personality flaws of other activists (and herself). At first, I kept thinking of how it would feel to read the book as one of the women described as difficult in one way or another.

I was especially interested in actions taken while I was still in high school. For example, I had no idea that as late as 1970 "unescorted" (by men) women were not allowed into establishments like the Russian Tea Room...not ev
...more
Michelle
I wanted to love this, due to the sheer scale of Brownmiller's legacy. Sadly I found it mostly superficial. Especially disappointing was Brownmiller's breezy dismissal of criticism of her treatment of race in Against Our Will. More than twenty years after the fact, she chose to address this only by characterizing Angela Davis's criticism in particular as having been demonizing and rigidly ideological. This tendency is not a one-off -- a similarly dismissive tone is invoked on the subject of the ...more
Laura Tanenbaum
Jul 14, 2014 Laura Tanenbaum rated it really liked it
Brownmiller's book is less a memoir as most people use the term than an historical account of the movement to which she devoted her life. The book offers a lot of fascinating information and detail about feminist activism of the 60s and 70s, especially how writers, journalists and those within the media became activists because of the movement they were writing about. Brownmiller defends her own positions against pornography and legal prostitution that many feminists will now take issue with wit ...more
Keri
I struggled with how to rate this book. I enjoyed learning about various pieces of the feminist movement, which I hadn't learned much about before. I know that a lot of the things the women profiled in this book fought for have directly benefited me, and I'm fortunate to live in this era. That being said, I felt like I would have enjoyed the book more had there been more of a unifying narrative. There were a LOT of details, some seeming unnecessary, and a lot of the chapters seemed to be more of ...more
Mikayla
Mar 16, 2016 Mikayla rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for any modern feminists. I personally found it very interesting to see Brownmiller's perspective throughout the rise of second-wave feminism (especially as an American student that got effectively no information on feminism in history class past, "And then the women got to vote."). That being said, it is a memoir, so if you're new to memoirs, really give yourself some time to read it through. It took me about a month reading a few hours a week to get through it, and ...more
Anderse
Jun 09, 2009 Anderse rated it liked it
Definitely more of a memoir than a history since it comes from her personal experience in the movement. But, a solid good introduction to/overview of the topic.
While I read this book, I kept in mind the students who read this in the Allegheny College class my Mom took recently probably couldn't imagine the way things were in the 1960s and even 70s -what rights women take for granted now that were dreams back then.
anique Halliday
May 07, 2007 anique Halliday rated it liked it
Shelves: feminism, non-fiction
I actually really liked this book. But then again, that was before I went and got myself a secondary degree in gender studies. With this new armor of intellect, I bet I'd find Brownmiller's account of so-called second wave feminism riddled with hetero-classist tendencies. Ahhh, how I long for my innocent and unbridled feminism.
Stephanie Conine
Oct 09, 2012 Stephanie Conine rated it liked it
Brownmiller's book certainly does provide a fascinating history of the women's movement's early days. It is wonderful to learn the details of who first said certain slogans we all know so well now. In this respect, the book is strong on detail, fun and enjoyable. However, I felt the novel tended to name drop on to many ocassions that causes confusion for the reader.
Thorn MotherIssues
Nov 23, 2009 Thorn MotherIssues rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2009
This book said "brickbats" more than any other book I've ever read. I'm not sure people who didn't already have some sense of who the people involved were would enjoy the book much, but I'm glad I read it. Despite how defensive she is about not being anti-lesbian, Brownmiller really seemed a little uncomfortable with lesbians. Weird.
Leslie
Dec 23, 2011 Leslie rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-group-books
A history of the feminist movement in the late sixties and seventies by someone on the inside of much of the important things that happened. A good reminder of how far women had to come and how much they had to overcome to be treated as people.
Casey Brehm
Feb 06, 2016 Casey Brehm rated it did not like it
this is a book about the contributions of white affluent second-wave of feminists, written by a woman who is racist and homophobic. while it is informative in some aspects, I do not recommend this book. there are better accounts by more worthy authors.
Laurie
Apr 07, 2008 Laurie added it
As I have not taken a womens studies class or anything of the sort, this is a great introduction to the women's lib movement. It is well-organized gives cred to those involved, so it is a easy jumping off point to reserach names and events
Laura
Jun 17, 2009 Laura rated it liked it
I admit, while it was interesting, I finally gave up on this one. Too many names to keep track of. If it were condensed, it would have been much more what I was looking for.
Megan
Dec 07, 2015 Megan rated it it was ok
I was so hopeful for this book but it just ended up making me sad. Can't we (feminists) all just get along?
Cherie
Sep 01, 2007 Cherie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: feminists
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
B A good reread - an overview of the 2nd wave of feminism, from Brownmiller's POV. Fascinating.
Lauren
Feb 25, 2014 Lauren rated it it was amazing
A first hand look at the inner workings and turmoils of second wave feminism. Very interesting and gives the reader a decent understanding of the movement.
misshannah
Jan 09, 2014 misshannah rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-ladies-only
Memoir of a movement. Problematic POV, handwaving issues that are being tackled by 3rd wave & beyond. Oddly self-congratulatory and self-aggrandizing.
catherine
Jan 15, 2010 catherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: socio-poli-sci, fem
a good overview of the figures, events, factions that contributed to the women's political movement through the 1970s.
Mommodan
Jul 14, 2012 Mommodan rated it really liked it
Those were the days!
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Susan Brownmiller (born 15 February 1935) is an American feminist journalist, author, and activist best known for her 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape.

Brownmiller also participated in civil rights activism, joining CORE and SNCC during the sit-in movement and volunteering for Freedom Summer in 1964, wherein she worked on voter registration in Meridian, Mississippi. Returning to New
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