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Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,149 ratings  ·  163 reviews
“Without self-esteem, the only change is an exchange of masters; with it, there is no need for masters.” —Gloria Steinem

When trying to find books to give to “the countless brave and smart women I met who didn’t think of themselves as either brave or smart,” Gloria Steinem realized that books either supposed that external political change would cure everything or that inter
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 20th 1993 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1991)
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Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I can't believe I waited until I was 34 to read this book. If someone had handed this to me when I was 21 or so it would have saved me so much pain from making idiotic choices because I didn't know better, or have an example as to how to navigate a world that I wasn't emotionally equipped to handle. I wouldn't have married an abuser. I wouldn't have looked for my "missing half" in another person, I would have learned it was already there, in myself.

I skipped over this book dozens of times when I
Jackie Medecki
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book made me a feminist and started me down the path to self discovery.
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book sat on my currently-reading list for what seems like forever. It took me a long time to finish the text, not because it isn't interesting, but rather because it is. I took a lot of time savoring Steinem's words and doing a lot of highlighting and mental note-taking. (Actually, I should have taken more written notes; they serve me a lot better). I have always admired Steinem as a straightforward, pull-no-punches feminist. (I have a picture of her in my office with the quote, "When viole ...more
Nielmarie Rose
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Haven't heard of Gloria Steinem until I got myself a copy of this book. I have read more than a dozen self-help books and most of them say one thing - if you want to be succesful, you have to start from within. Then I ask, what within? Steinem answered that. It's self esteem. Steinem, and the experiences of people she used in this book made me revisit the monsters of my past and face them, head on. I may not be a totally changed person after reading this, but it sure awakened something in me. ...more
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First of all, who can can reflect on the evolution of feminism in the U.S., nay, the world, without thinking simultaneously of Gloria Steinem? And as forward-thinking as I consider myself, feminism feels like a turnoff. Only after watching a Steinem documentary on HBO did I become interested in her. And this woman is the real thing. In Self Esteem, Steinem is mind-blowingly intelligent. As a woman, a parent, a child, and a human thinker, this book speaks to me. She integrates many disciplines-so ...more
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this a long time ago and its exact contents are hazy in my mind. However, I do remember having a sense of being nurtured by her. There was no proselytizing or sense of superiority that some authors writing in this genre seem to possess. What really came across was her great compassion towards women and their personal struggles.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For me, better than years of therapy--a life-changer. Re-read often.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Part memoir, part cultural critique, part self-help book, Gloria Steinem's Revolution from Within remains extremely innovative in its premise of connecting the concept to individual self-esteem to the larger context of social justice. Despite being written nearly 20 years ago, the book's message remains profoundly relevant: the political is personal. From education, to science, to romance Steinem deftly demonstrates the ways in which we can lose our self, because of the messages we absorb from t ...more
Katrina Sark
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the best non-fiction books I have ever read!

It provides so much well-researched insight into human nature, psychology, gender and race inequalities, behavioural patterns, and self-esteem with so much empathy and kindness, you will want to live in this book.

Gloria Steinem managed to find the most comforting writing voice to deliver crucial messages about our many personal and cultural insecurities and weaknesses. Unlike many male authors, her authorial voice is devoid of an overpowering
Indrani Sen
This is a milestone read of my life. My life will change because of this book.

There is so much food for thought here. There is so much love. I am looking at myself and my life differently now. I hope to love myself a lot more now.

My kind, intelligent, beautiful friends (women and men both) - please please read this book.

Sorry I am not quite able to write a proper "intellectual" review of this book. My response so far is visceral and emotional. I will very soon read the book again. Plan to do a
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of the handful of books i've read and re-read. Gloria Steinem=hero, I hope you know that. Only read it if you're ready for something real and enduring, something that will still be relevant 200 years from now because ALL power comes from within, people. ...more
Ann Ramsey
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not a self help book! Wonderfully written about the evolution of women's roles. Explained a lot of progress that as someone born in the Sixties, have taken for granted. Recommend you "read" this one as well on, as Steinem reads it. ...more
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book of self-esteem - should be required reading for all high school girls! Love Steinem! I would have burned my bra for her, but at the time I was too young and wasn't wearing one! But in all seriousness, a really, well-written book by an amazing lady. ...more
Lisa Culligan
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
this book literally changed my life, I have read it several times and dipped in many times. Can't recommend it highly enough. ...more
Rebecca Noran
i won the hardcover version of this book in a feminist essay contest as a freshman (or first-year, i should say... i think it was my first year, maybe second...) in high school. as a result i sat on a panel with other winners of the contest. being a panel there were people in the audience. the male participants dominated the conversation. i'm not sure i said anything. same thing when i was on the academically speaking team in middle school -- man, i didn't want to press that buzzer. later in hig ...more
Oct 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reflections
i have a lot of respect for first wave feminists, and this is my favorite of the first wave books.

i like 'revolution from within' because steinem focuses on sharing her personal experiences as a woman trying to enter the workforce in the 1960s -- and doesn't get too into preaching at her reader. some of the stories she recounts are really shocking-- i.e., blatant sexual innuendo from bosses -- an expectation of "cashing in" to "move up." it's feels the worst possible episode of 'mad men' you ca
Natasha Holme
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Feminist, socialist classic from 1991. This is a hefty read with an amazing amount of thoroughly researched, intelligently presented information.

LOVED that the author almost always refers to 'women and men,' 'she or he.' I usually have to switch the order round myself when reading books.

"Girls as a group have lower self-esteem because they are expected to suppress more of themselves and because society denigrates what is left."

"We cannot harden our hearts selectively."
Susan Clark-cook
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I grew up with Ms Steinem being a model for any young woman who was interested in being liberated and feminist. This book looks at and talks about the difficulties many , if not most, women have with the basic idea of liking themselves, and being good enough just as they are. She uses herself as a guide, and writes in a personable and engaging way.
Jul 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am already trying to turn around the way I look at the world. This book is helping. My favorite bit so far: The job of parents is to turn out kids with enough confidence to make their OWN way in the world. The job of governments is to do the same for countries
Jan 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
Gloria Steinem takes the stance that everyone's childhood was really really fucked up, and if you don't remember it being fucked up it's probably because you are repressing traumatic memories. Read about 300 pages, felt desperately grim, took me a couple of weeks to recover ...more
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kobo-heaux
It took me ages to finish this book -- not because I didn't want to, but because there was a lot to process and sometimes I felt a little overwhelmed. I'm glad to have finished it and enthusiastically recommend it. Wish I'd read it 10 ... no, 20 years ago. ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I would recommend this book to men and women.
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The most helpful book I've ever read. Took me over month because it was full of information I needed and needed to process. Opened my eyes in a big way. ...more
Tracy Speed
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read. One of the best non-fiction books I've read in years. ...more
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Steinem is a feminist powerhouse, not in an over-indulgent, preachy way. Her opinions and analyses of gender disparity are sensible and have laid the foundation for modern discourse. Steinem with this book published in 1992 has touched the surface about many critical issues that women face. It is a good book to start off with if you want to explore the various levels to feminist ideology. It is the origin of many feminist ideas you see and read on popular TV and music. Having negative connotatio ...more
Suzanne Ondrus
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book attests to how self-esteem is the necessary foundation for a healthy society. I was surprised (but not so when reflecting) at how education is also an attacker of self-esteem. Poor self-esteem is fuel for the batterer.
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Priyanka by: Divya
A very good friend recommended this book and I felt it could be worth a read. Guess what happened…I had to read it, it did take more than two months to finish. Every page gives one a greater insight to a life of a leader or entertainer. It took me more than a month to finish, because I took time to read of the pages. Sometimes, I've re-read sections just to make sure I understood what was being said. Gloria has done a lot of research prior to writing this book. It provides an analyses, shares ex ...more
Sarah Mansour
Too bad you cannot rate in halves because I'd a rather give this book a 2.5 than a 3.
The only reason I'd rate it that low is because I had an extreme love-hate relationship with the book. It's incredibly well written and very interesting to follow, but most of the content are not for everybody. I started reading it since I am a fan of Gloria and didn't mind it is a "self-help" book.
She did a great job in addressing it to both men and women, it's about understanding one self and getting in terms
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have read many many books, and I have to say that this is one of my absolute favorites.

Don't worry, this is not a self-help, how-to-love yourself book. This is a straight forward, intense account of the world around us as we know it. Steinem's book is also so obviously well researched, in fact startling facts and statistics reside on every page. Gloria Steinem has given us a wonderful opportunity to see her as far more than just a feminist, political activist, and one of the most influental w
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The F-word: December NON-FICTION selection REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN 20 51 Dec 30, 2014 08:28PM  

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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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“It still would be years before I understood the seriousness of my change of view. Much later, I recognized it in "Revolution," the essay of Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who describes the moment when a man on the edge of a crowd looks back defiantly at a policeman — and when that policeman senses a sudden refusal to accept his defining gaze — as the imperceptible moment in which rebellion is born. "All books about all revolutions begin with a chapter that describes the decay of tottering authority or the misery and sufferings of the people," Kapuscinski writes. "They should begin with a psychological chapter — one that shows how a harassed, terrified man suddenly breaks his terror, stops being afraid. This unusual process — sometimes accomplished in an instant, like a shock — demands to be illustrated. Man gets rid of fear and feel free. Without that, there would be no revolution.” 39 likes
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