Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 422 pages
1 Review

Longtime activist, author, and antifeminist leader Phyllis Schlafly is for many the symbol of the conservative movement in America. In this provocative new book, historian Donald T. Critchlow sheds new light on Schlafly's life and on the unappreciated role her grassroots activism played in transforming America's political landscape.

Based on exclusive and unrestricted access to Schlafly's papers as well as sixty other archival collections, the book reveals for the first time the inside story of this Missouri-born mother of six who became one of the most controversial forces in modern political history. It takes us from Schlafly's political beginnings in the Republican Right after the World War II through her years as an anticommunist crusader to her more recent efforts to thwart same-sex marriage and stem the flow of illegal immigrants.

Schlafly's political career took off after her book A Choice Not an Echo helped secure Barry Goldwater's nomination. With sales of more than 3 million copies, the book established her as a national voice within the conservative movement. But it was Schlafly's bid to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment that gained her a grassroots following. Her anti-ERA crusade attracted hundreds of thousands of women into the conservative fold and earned her a name as feminism's most ardent opponent. In the 1970s, Schlafly founded the Eagle Forum, a Washington-based conservative policy organization that today claims a membership of 50,000 women.

Filled with fresh insights into these and other initiatives, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism provides a telling profile of one of the most influential activists in recent history. Sure to invite spirited debate, it casts new light on a major shift in American politics, the emergence of the Republican Right.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Making of a Grassroots Conservative
Ideology and Politics in 1952
Anticommunism A Young Womans Crusade
The Republican Right Under Attack
The Goldwater Campaign
The Establishment Purges Schlafly
Confronting the Soviets in a Nuclear Age
Nixon Betrays the Right
The ERA Battle Revives the Right
The Triumph of the Right
Ideology and Power in a Divided Nation
Manuscript Collections

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Donald T. Critchlow is a Professor of History at Arizona State University. He has authored and edited numerous books, including The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Made Political History (2007, revised 2011); Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism (2005); and Intended Consequences: Birth Control, Abortion, and the Federal Government (1999). He is currently working on a data-driven book, American Democracy Now and its Future. He is editor of the Journal of Policy History, an interdisciplinary quarterly published by Cambridge University Press, and general editor of the Cambridge Essential Histories Series.

Bibliographic information