The conclusion of the “remarkable” four-volume history by the New York Times–bestselling author of The Women’s Room (Publishers Weekly).
In the twentieth century, women became a force for change, in part through suffrage, and in part through mass organizing. This final volume of Marilyn French’s wide-ranging survey offers a vibrant history of multiple political revolutions as well as the century’s horrors—including genocides and the atom bomb. It ends with a thoughtful investigation into the various indigenous feminist movements throughout the world and asks what these peaceful revolutions might augur for the future.
Eschewing easy answers, French suggests that the defining moral moments of the twenty-first century should, and will, build from a global human rights agenda.
IN THE FINAL INSTALLMENT OF HER FOUR-VOLUME FEMINIST HISTORY, FRENCH GRATIFIES READERS WITH AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING VIEW OF WOMEN'S MAJOR AND MINOR 20TH CENTURY VICTORIES FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE GLOBE. FRENCH HONORS BOTH MALE AND FEMALE LEADERS, LOCATING FEMINIST UPRISINGS IN SUCH UNEXPECTED PLACES AS TURKEY, WHERE REFORMIST PRESIDENT MUSTAPHA KEMAL ACCEPTED WOMEN IN HIS ARMY AND APPEARED IN PUBLIC WITH HIS EDUCATED WIFE UNVEILED. WITH PATIENCE, RESEARCH AND AN EXTRAORDINARY SENSE OF SCALE, FRENCH EXAMINES THE EFFECTS THAT THE CURRENT MAJOR FORMS OF GOVERNMENT HAVE HAD ON WOMEN THROUGHOUT THE CENTURIES, AND CORRELATES THOSE FINDINGS WITH THE CURRENT SOCIAL AND POLITICAL MOMENT IN LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. SHE ALSO TACKLES THE SUBJECTS OF RELIGION AND WAR, WHICH SHE CLAIMS ARE THE TWO MODERN FORMS OF PATRIARCHY\x81\MEN'S WAY OF SUCCESSFULLY DOMINATING NOT JUST WOMEN BUT OTHER MEN. HER MOST CURIOUS AND INSIGHTFUL VOLUME, THIS BOOK LEAVES NO ANGLE UNEXPLORED. THOUGH OFTEN WORDY, FRENCH OFFERS A STRIKING OVERVIEW OF FEMINIST THEORY AND ACTION ALONGSIDE HER OWN VIEWS, POLISHING OFF AN EXQUISITE HISTORY USEFUL FOR BOTH PERSONAL AND CLASSROOM STUDY.