Stepping Up to Power: The Political Journey of American Women

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Westview Press, 2000 - Political Science - 252 pages
Harriett Woods insists that it will take more than a woman president to assure that women have effective political power in the next millennium. Stepping Up to Power looks backward in order to move women forward; Woods believes that getting more women to enter the political arena will take both their commitment and a knowledge of the past. The author uses her own life story to recall how women excluded from public life were fired by their determination to solve local problems and by their passion for social issues. Decade by decade, from the 1950s to the present, Woods candidly discusses the positive and negative aspects of pivotal events leading to a triumphant moment when women believe they finally have broken through to real political power-only to discover that new challenges remain.The author examines some of the myths about women as voters and candidates; tells stories about such colorful figures as Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan; provides step-by-step advice on becoming a candidate; and describes from her own personal experience such moments as the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings, the 1992 ”Year of the Woman,” the appointments of Janet Reno and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and her own breakthrough race for the U.S. Senate in Missouri in 1982. Stepping Up to Power will fascinate general readers as well as students of women’s history. America has been transformed by a revolution that has changed the personal and public relationships between men and women. The question remains: How will women use the power they have gained? Stepping Up to Power provides an inspiring answer.

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The Awakening
Flexing Muscles
Opening Doors

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About the author (2000)

Harriett Woods is the former president of the National Women's Political Caucus and the former lieutenant governor of Missouri, the first woman elected to a statewide office there. For nearly fifty years, she has experienced personally the trials and triumphs in women's political life; she has been a key player in the election and appointment to office of countless women across the country. She teaches a course on women in public life at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Woods appears regularly on television, is a commentator on radio, and has contributed to numerous newspapers and magazines.

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