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My Life on the Road

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  33,410 ratings  ·  3,521 reviews
Gloria Steinem—writer, activist, organizer, and one of the most inspiring leaders in the world—now tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of how her early years led her to live an on-the-road kind of life, traveling, listening to people, learning, and creating change. She reveals the story of her own growth in tandem with the growth of an ongoing movemen ...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by Random House
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Marit A lot of local bookstore's in non english country's wouldn't have this kind of book, so maby try ordering it from They ship to all…moreA lot of local bookstore's in non english country's wouldn't have this kind of book, so maby try ordering it from They ship to all over the world for free!(less)

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Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 very high stars. I loved reading this book. It's a bit disorganized and chaotic, but it's full of great anecdotes, thoughtful ideas on activism and engagement, and quotable bits and pieces. I came to this book thinking of Steinem as an icon of American feminism, but someone I didn't actually know much about. The experience of reading My Life on the Road made me sit up and pay attention. And not because Steinem delivers a specific political message or because she builds herself up as a heroic f ...more
Debbie "DJ"
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, memoir, own, history
Wow, this was quite the read! Steinem starts by talking about her early upbringing, which I found not only surprising, but fascinating. From there, she is all over the map (quite literally). It's like sitting down with an old friend as she recounts important life events. Often, the events had no particular order, yet they all held my full attention. Steinem included so much in this book, it's hard to review without giving anything away. While she talks of feminism, it is current, and seen throug ...more
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women, memoirs, audiobooks
There are so many good stories in this book! This memoir focuses on Steinem's travels around the world, and her political and activist experiences in the United States.

When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel. For more than four decades, I've spent at least half my time on the road.

I've never tried to write about this way of life, not even when I was reporting on people and events along the way. It just seemed to have no category
Diane S ☔
Dec 16, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 Grew up hearing about this amazing woman, reading MS magazine and cheering her on from afar. Yet, never knew the personal details of her life, what made her whom she is nor how she came to be such a staunch advocate for many whom had few rights. This book filled that in for me and I loved reading about her early life, somewhat surprising and how she started in her career. Her life on the road, the many people she met, her stay in India and the many well known people she has met. Little incid ...more
A note about the audiobook -- I started listening to this one and it wasn't quite grabbing me. The text was falling flat for some reason and my mind wandered a little too much. Debra Winger has a lovely delivery as the reader, but the audiobook just didn't work for me this time. So I abandoned it for the hardcover -- and finished it in one sitting I became that engrossed and enthralled, moved and inspired.

In June of 2015 I was lucky enough to attend the American Library Association conference h
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Editor: Ms Steinem, we think it's time you wrote another book.
Gloria Steinem: Hmm. It's all been fairly extensively mined. Oh, but I do have a couple of good stories about taxi rides.
Editor: That sounds good. Maybe we could devote a chapter to taxi stories.
Gloria Steinem: And I met an interesting woman on a plane once.
Editor: Ok, it sounds like grouping it around a travelling theme might pull it all together nicely.
Gloria Steinem: Can I write about my Dad too?
Editor: That sounds good. Anythin
I want to be Gloria Steinem when I grow up.

I went to a women's college for my undergraduate degree, and while I have a lot of complaints about the particular experience I had, one thing I appreciated was the communal existence. I didn't live in a dorm, but it didn't matter - the classes were small, there was relatively open communication between the students and the professors, you could basically just walk into any professor's office and take a seat and chat for a while. The classes, for the mo
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars!

“You're always the person you were when you were born. You just keep finding new ways to express it.”

I've always been interested in learning more about Gloria Steinem. She was mentioned a lot in my college history courses, but never anything specifically about her was covered. This was also a book selected in Emma Watson's feminist book club, so I bought a copy and it say on my nightstand for two years. Now that I am into audiobooks on my commute, I decided to listen to this book..
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Reading this lively memoir of the vagabond life Gloria Steinem has led--first by necessity and then because she embraced it--made me want to hit the road myself in the hope that I could have even a fraction of her experiences. The varied places and people she’s encountered in her travels give her rich, interesting perspectives on the history and zeitgeist of the times she writes about, which extend from the later years of the Great Depression until today. It makes the book a fascinating, even in ...more
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing

The understated prose may make this seem like a light volume of reminiscences, but it demonstrates her main point: you have to listen. If you listen to everyday people, not politicians or pundits, you can see what is really going on in the world.

After introducing who she is by way of describing her father and his independent traveling spirit and her unwell mother who admired the Roosevelt’s, she shares what she has heard over the years and what she has learned from it.

Living in India for two ye
Apr 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Gloria is an astute observationist, her success predominantly hinges on her listening skills, a skill gained from an almost exclusive life living on the road. Her journalistic endeavours allowing her to find the real stories that in her mind MUST be told. Her story is unique but also a universal story of a life trying to find meaning and connection in a turbulent and often unfair world, thus leading her into a productive life of social and political activism and professional organizer. She humbl ...more
Book Riot Community
I had never read a book by Steinem before, and was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this wonderful memoir. She recounts how a significant part of her life has been lived on the road, starting with her early years spent wandering the country with her traveling salesman father and deeply unhappy mother, to her travels around the world related to her work. This is an amazing look into the mind of one of America's most famous feminist icons.

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Some book come to us when we are ready and need to hear their message most. This is one of them. Now, at fifty, and finding myself at this particular juncture, where my feminist roots are helping make sense of a world gone completely out of balance, it is good to discover myself sharing so many affinities with a feminist icon who was little more than a name to me until now, but who obviously influenced me and my thinking throughout my life in ways I can barely begin to imagine.

Just last night,
Nat K
”If you want people to listen, you have to listen to them.
If you hope people will change how they live, you have to know how they live.
If you want people to see you, you have sit down with them eye-to-eye.”

Why have I never read any of Ms Steinem’s books before?

While being aware of her background and involvement with the women’s movement, workplace equality, and co-founding ”Ms."magazine, I’d simply not read any of her writing from “cover to cover”. For which I am now kicking myself.

The stori
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this well written memoir we learn both how far we've come yet how far we have to go. The many stories had me laughing and crying! She has a strong sense of right and wrong and the wherewithal to make good use of her intuition. It was an honor and a priveledge to read this book. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC and thank you Gloria for all your efforts to advance gender equality. ...more
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, non-fiction
This was an inspirational read. Although it's a memoir-y type book, the focus is really on Steinem's learnings and the people she has met on the road rather than about her per se.

There is a lot we can all learn from this book, but things that particularly stood out to me were the power of listening, and of hearing people's stories. Of taking away the filters we view the world through to open our eyes to new ideas and new realities. Steinem quotes a young taxi driver she meets who was embargoing
monica kim
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an important book. Despite it being titled "My Life on the Road," it's really more a book about the modern feminist movement than about Steinem alone (although, can you discuss one without discussing the other?). I'm leaving it knowing more about the growth of feminism and the often hidden impact of women in history. And I think the big message of this book is how feminism can't live in a silo - that no equality movement can. The fight for women's rights is tied to socio-economic equalit ...more
So yeah, I'm going to be a dissenter, that's fine. I was struggling to get through this book before some current statements were made. I am highly disappointed in someone that is so pivotal in feminism. Calling women that are supporting Bernie Sanders "attention seekers", regardless of your political views, totally goes against what you're teaching. This is a step back from what you're trying to do. Aren't we trying to build women up, and not only want men and women to be treated equally, but fo ...more
Donna Davis
Feminist heroes are everywhere, but if I had to name half a dozen women that were at the core of the feminist movement that followed closely on the heels of the Civil Rights movement and the movement to end the US war in Vietnam, Steinem’s name would be among them. In fact, hers might be the first name out of my mouth. It was she who coined the salutation “Ms”, and who founded Ms. Magazine. When I saw she had written a memoir, I knew I had to have it, and when Net Galley and Random House gave me ...more
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I'm trying to broaden my horizons this year, and reading more non-fiction by women writers is part of that effort. My book diet to date has been sadly bereft of this type of writing and I'm aiming to improve. This book came highly recommended and did not disappoint.

I found this book to be a cross between a memoir and a history book, aka required reading. I knew so little about the author herself, let alone about the various people, places, and topics
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: feminist
3.5 out of 5 stars (I feel like I give half star ratings way too frequently but whatever.)

THIS book was really interesting and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Not that I expected not to enjoy it, just that I liked it more than I thought I would. . Going into it, I didn't know that much about Gloria Steinem so it was great to learn more. I uploaded my review of this book on my YouTube channel so if you are interested then you should definitely check it out-
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminist-reads
If I'm completely honest this book was a bit hard to go through, but I'm glad I know more about Gloria Steinem. Her story is very powerful and empowering. ...more
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stopped reading for a moment. Gloria Steinem's melodious voice faded into quietness and all I could hear was the silence surrounding me. I remember thinking, how is it possible to be so quiet when there's a revolution going on inside my head? Then I realized I had yet to speak up.

My Life on the Road is an extraordinary journey. More than a book of hope, it's a book of possibilities. Not only are we told stories that make us believe that equality is possible, we are shown proof that equality wa
I started reading this book on Carol's recommendation, with only a dim awareness of who Gloria Steinem is. I knew her as a Ms. founder/editor, the "pretty feminist" attractive enough to become, and write about the plight of, a Playboy Bunny, and remembered some comments of "seasoned" feminists I encountered stating that Steinem was "privileged". The book does not even mention the Bunny episode, and effectively dispels any myth of financial privilege; Steinem's childhood was full of adventures ca ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readathon17
"[...] yet I was traveling and making the discovery that ordinary people are smart, smart people are ordinary, decisions are best made by the people affected by them, and human beings have an almost infinite capacity for adapting to the expectations around us- which is both the good and the bad news."

Τελειώνοντας αυτό το βιβλίο έμεινα με ένα πολύ όμορφο συναίσθημα: έμαθα πολλά πράγματα και μου άνοιξε την όρεξη για να μάθω ακόμη περισσότερα!

Η Gloria Steinem αφηγείται ιστορίες από τα ταξίδια
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gloria Steinem's life experiences have been so many and so varied, My Life On The Road reads like a collection of short stories. In many ways it is, because she shares personal adventures alongside second-hand accounts. Steinem's greatest asset as an organizer and writer is her efforts in simply listening. This book is the result of all those years of listening and learning.

Steinem organizes her chapters by theme and discusses events with only a loose chronology. Dates are always provided, howev
Emily Williams
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I actually listened to this from audible when walking to and from work. Not sure how it would read, but I found it really inspiring as an audiobook. Gloria Steinem wrote beautifully on travel, feminism, organizing, race, and friendship. Some of my favorite moments were small descriptions of chance encounters with cab drivers or attendees of an event. Personal and moving, you can tell she can connect deeply with people. Don't know how it reads as a book, but I'm glad I "read" it. ...more
Nov 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This is such a wonderful record by a public figure I treasure; however, the writing is repetitive and the organization is chaotic. It's still highly readable and quite moving, but I wish time had been taken for better editing of this important memoir. ...more
Jan 14, 2016 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Antonomasia by: Our Shared Shelf (Emma Watson's feminist book group)
A few days ago I became fascinated by the phenomenon of the Our Shared Shelf group: then less than a week old, and a testament to the pull of the right celebrity, it had become the biggest group on Goodreads in only a few days, and at time of writing (18-19 Jan), with 93 000+ members, is nearing twice the size of the next biggest group.
There may be no way to say this without sounding like a class-tourist hipster, but that group right now is the reallest fucking thing I've ever seen on Goo
Richard Jespers
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In 1972, when I’m a graduate student at Southern Methodist University, I attend an event in which Gloria Steinem speaks to the student body. Her address, along with an inter-term class entitled Women in the Church and Society, converts me almost overnight from a chauvinistic twenty-three-year-old seminarian, who can’t lift a finger to help out his working wife, to a young man who begins to mend his ways. The month-long class precipitates a metamorphosis that ends in my coming out as a gay man an ...more
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Our Shared Shelf: Post Read: Has this book changed your thoughts or actions in any way? 20 2675 Aug 16, 2019 12:36PM  
Our Shared Shelf: Meet Up - NYC 63 2001 May 08, 2018 10:22AM  
Play Book Tag: My Life on the Road / Gloria Steinem/ 5 Stars 3 19 Mar 31, 2018 08:36AM  

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Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the women's liberation movement in the late 1960s and 1970s. A prominent writer and key counterculture era political figure, Steinem has founded many organizations and projects and has been the recipient of man ...more

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98 likes · 16 comments
“You're always the person you were when you were born," she says impatiently. "You just keep finding new ways to express it.” 302 likes
“I myself cried when I got angry, then became unable to explain why I was angry in the first place. Later I would discover this was endemic among female human beings. Anger is supposed to be "unfeminine" so we suppress it -until it overflows. I could see that not speaking up made my mother feel worse. This was my first hint of the truism that depression is anger turned inward; thus women are twice as likely to be depressed. My mother paid a high price for caring so much, yet being able to do so little about it. In this way, she led me toward am activist place where she herself could never go.” 195 likes
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