By Daniel Horowitz
Drawing on a powerful physique of recent study - together with Friedan's personal papers - Horowitz lines the advance of Friedan's feminist outlook from her youth in Peoria, Illinois, via her wartime years at Smith collage and Berkeley, to her decade-long occupation as a author for 2 of the period's such a lot radical hard work journals, the Federated Press and the United electric staff' UE information. He additional exhibits that even after she married and started to elevate a relatives, Friedan persisted in the course of the Nineteen Fifties to jot down and paintings on behalf of a variety of revolutionary social motives. by means of resituating Friedan inside of a broader cultural context, and by means of delivering a clean analyzing of the female Mystique opposed to that historical past, Horowitz not just overturns traditional principles approximately "second-wave" feminism but in addition unearths lengthy submerged hyperlinks to its earlier.
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Extra resources for Betty Friedan: And the Making of the Feminine Mystique :The American Left, the Cold War, and Modern Feminism (Culture, Politics, and the Cold War)
She hosted a book party in New York to celebrate the publication of Helen's Campus Life (1987). A mutual friend invited us to have dinner with Friedan when she was in Northampton. Helen asked Friedan to come over to our house during Smith graduation weekend in 1992. On one occasion she offered Helen the use of her Manhattan apartment when she was away. I prevailed on Page 7 Helen's relationship with Friedan when I asked her to write a jacket blurb for my book on Packard, something she graciously agreed to do.
I soon realized that it was necessary to put aside the book chapter for a while and focus on Friedan's life, the hidden and the recently revealed. Researching and writing with a sense of excitement, I knew the story I was telling was important, one that would enrich the history of feminism and our understanding of a major figure in the postwar world. By late May I sent off a draft to American Quarterly, the scholarly publication of the American Studies Association. In the next months, I put together more pieces of the puzzle and began to connect my discoveries to what had happened in the lives of some of Friedan's contemporaries, especially the women's historians Gerda Lerner and Eleanor Flexner.
The social and personal dynamics of the Goldstein household shaped her sense of herself as a daughter, sister, Jew, intellect, and woman. The challenges she faced in school sharpened her eye, intensified her interest in books, honed her writing, and started to awaken her awareness of herself as a woman. The backdrop of her adolescencea series of events in Peoria, the nation, and Europehighlighted issues of union organizing, anti-Semitism, and anti-fascism on which she would draw later when she fully engaged with politics.