Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique: The American Left, the Cold War, and Modern Feminism

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2000 - Political Science - 355 pages
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Ever since the 1963 publication of her landmark book, The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan has insisted that her commitment to women's rights grew out of her experiences as an alienated suburban housewife. Yet as Daniel Horowitz persuasively demonstrates in this illuminating and provocative biography, the roots of Friedan's feminism run much deeper than she has led us to believe. Drawing on an impressive body of new research -- including Friedan's own papers -- Horowitz traces the development of Friedan's feminist outlook from her childhood in Peoria, Illinois, through her wartime years at Smith College and Berkeley, to her decade-long career as a writer for two of the period's most radical labor journals, the Federated Press and the United Electrical Workers' UE News. He further shows that even after she married and began to raise a family, Friedan continued during the 1950s to write and work on behalf of a wide range of progressive social causes. By resituating Friedan within a broader cultural context, and by offering a fresh reading of The Feminine Mystique against that background, Horowitz not only overturns conventional ideas about "second wave" feminism but also reveals long submerged links to its past.

 

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Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition
ix
Introduction
1
Peoria 192138
16
Betiye Goldstein at Smith College 193840 An Education in Creativity Psychology and Politics
33
The Radicalization of Bettye Goldstein 194041
50
It All Comes Together 194142 AntiFascism Women Workers Unions War and Psychology
69
A Momentous Interlude Berkeley 194243
88
Federated Press 194346 Popular Front Labor Journalist
102
The Personal Is Political 194763
153
Freelance Writer 195263
180
The Development of The Feminine Mystique 195763
197
I
226
II
259
III
333
IV
339
Copyright

UE News 194652 Workers Women and McCarthyism
121

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About the author (2000)

Daniel Horowitz is Mary Higgins Gamble Professor of American Studies and director of the American studies program at Smith College. He is author of Vance Packard and American Social Criticism.

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