Great Women, Great Books

All the debate and acrimony over restraints on women’s reproductive rights in the current presidential campaign season has some of us longing for some good old-fashioned, mid-20th Century, no-holds-barred feminists to jump into the fray. Women’s History Month gives us an opportunity to remember and celebrate the now mostly silenced sisters like Betty Friedan. For a jolt of reality, try “Interviews with Betty Friedan,” published by one of our partners, the University of Mississippi Press. Then, pick up some of the other titles available on Diversebooks.net at discounts that explore the lives of women who have made a difference in the lives of many people.

 

Interviews with Betty Friedan, by Janann Sherman, $18 (List Price: $20), University of Mississippi Press, September 2002, ISBN: 9781578064809, pp. 224.

Friedan’s landmark book, The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963, has been credited as the spark to one of the most significant social uprisings ever. The mother of the Women’s Movement died in 2006, but this book captured some of her rare, memorable and revealing interviews– forums she avoided whenever possible. This volume makes her observations on a wide range of issues accessible to new generations of students and scholars.

 

Toni Morrison, What Moves at the Margin: Selected Nonfiction, edited by Carolyn C. Denard, $27, (List Price: $30), University of Mississippi Press, April 2008, ISBN: 9781604730173, pp. 212.

This collection of the nonfiction writings of the extraordinary, Nobel-prize-winning novelist spans three decades of her life — from her time as an editor at Random House publishing through her years as a Princeton University professor. It includes reviews, essays and speeches gathered in one volume to provide a rich resource for reading and study as she reflects on family, literature and the world at large.

 

Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African American Quilters, by Patricia A. Turner, foreword by Kyra E. Hicks, $31.50, (List Price:$35), University of Mississippi Press, January 2009, ISBN: 9781604731316, pp. 240.

The author, a professor at University of California-Davis, profiled nine quilters male and female, young and old, throughout the continental U.S., and in Alaska, who show and tell the story of their craft and their lives. She also places them in context, discussing the history of African American quilts and of their creators, as well as reflecting on their endurance as an art form today.

 

Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree, by Katie McCabe, $27, (List Price: $30), University of Mississippi Press, March 2011, ISBN: 9781604731323, pp. 288.

Dovey Johnson Roundtree was a highly visible crusader for justice from her position as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. Born in 1914 and raised in Charlotte, N.C., she was a protégé of the legendary educator and activist Mary McLeod Bethune. Roundtree was also a veteran of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in World War II, and one of the first women to be an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Roundtree’s victory in a 1955 bus desegregation case, Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company, before the Interstate Commerce Commission demolished “separate but equal” in interstate transportation.