Feminists who Changed America ~ 1963-1975*

"... glowing comments serve as a tribute to the hard work put in by VFA members and leadership and others throughout the country who made the book a reality."

-Barbara Love

Academic and Public Library Reviews for
Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975

Reported by Barbara Love, Editor: May 27, 2007

These two reviews came out in May 2007.
Choice is a publication for academic librarians and Booklist is for public libraries. I have not included information about the book and how it was compiled, which we all know--only the comments evaluating the book. The glowing comments serve as a tribute to the hard work put in by VFA members and leadership and others throughout the country who made the book a reality.-Barbara Love

"This work will serve as an excellent resource for researchers of second-wave feminist biography. Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers, general readers."

Current Reviews for Academic Libraries is the premier source for reviews of academic books, electronic media, and Internet resources of interest to those in higher education. More than 35,000 librarians, faculty, and key decision makers rely on Choice magazine and Choice Reviews Online for collection development and scholarly research. Choice reaches almost every undergraduate college and university library in the United States.

"This is the first comprehensive directory to document many of the founders and leaders of what is now often referred to as the second wave of feminism 1963-1975. Although numerous other works cover individuals who were active in the movement, there does not appear to be any other work that chronicles so many of the people who were active during this course of time. Well written and easy to use, this encyclopedia is recommended for all academic librarians and large public libraries; there really is no other publication with the same scope."

Reference - Social Sciences

Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975.
Love, Barbara J. (editor).
Dec. 2006. 526p. illus. Univ. of Illinois, hardcover, $80 (0-252-03189-X). 305.42092.
REVIEW. First published May 1, 2007 (Booklist).

Alphabetically arranged, each entry includes a brief description of the role the person played in the movement. Entries include such diverse persons as authors, members of rock bands like Deadly Nightshade, sociologists, politicians, NOW leaders, and cartoonists. Much of the information was supplied by the subjects themselves, and all biographies were sent to the subjects for approval. There are a small number of black-and-white photographs in the center of the book; the only thing that could have made the book better would have been pictures of all the people included. The name index at the end of the volume includes not just the names of the people profiled in the sketches but also other people mentioned in those sketches.

Although numerous other works cover individuals who were active in the movement, there does not appear to be any other work that chronicles so many of the people who were active over this course of time. Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook (Greenwood, 1999) offers a small sampling of the women in the current volume. Well written and easy to use, this encyclopedia is recommended for all academic libraries and large public libraries; there really is no other publication with the same scope.

— Diana Shonrock

Readers Give Feminists Who Changed America FIVE STARS*****

Barbara Love is a national treasure .., December 18, 2006
By Barbara A. Macintyre (Bennington, Vt. USA)

This is an amazing book listing thousands of women who actually did change America. In both small and large ways we are closer to equality because of them, although we still have a way to go. We still don't have a national Equal Rights Amendment yet, nor do we see womens' pay as equal to mens, but we're not giving up.

Thank you, Barbara Love!

Rich and elegant history of American feminists, September 27, 2006
By Zoe Ann Nicholson (Newport Beach, CA)

Buyer Beware! You are about to fall in love with a feminist. Turn the page and another will become irresistible. Feminists Who Changed America, 1963 - 1975 will change YOU. This is a dazzling compendium of over 2,000 biographies; elegant, short, profound and inspiring. Unlike the lost legacies of many First Wave feminists, the stories of these Second Wave feminists will be preserved forever in this collated, verified and beautifully presented book. In addition, each feminist's archive site is indicated.

The three year creative process began with identifying and locating feminists who were active 1963 ~ 1975. They (or their heirs) were sent questionnaires and their responses were transformed into short bios. You can be certain of the veracity of the information here but don't think for a moment that it is dry or exclusively academic. With each biography you will fall in love with a feminist who was a first; first lawmaker, first professor, first publisher, first judge, first member in a legislature, first to march, first to open women's health clinic. In this reading you will read and feel how these brief years paved every road for women in America and, thus, women in the world. It is rich as cheesecake, a bite everyday is delectable.


November 26, 2006
Cheesecake at the VFA

Zoe Nicholson's blog has this entry!

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If you look at the cover picture of the VFA NYC Gala Photo Album on the right, you will see a moment in an apartment which took place on Tuesday, November 14, 2006. This was a wonderful small morning party which focused on the book, Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975 by honoring the editors, the advisory board, researchers and outreach committee. It was the last of six events of the weekend.

On the far left (the Four Virgos) is Jacqui Ceballos, President of the VFA. She was a NOW leader 1967-1973, a delegate United Nations IWY Convention in Mexico City 1975, NOW's representative to the National Democratic Convention 1972 and a dozen more remarkable highlights over a lifetime of active feminism. In the center is Barbara Seaman, advocate of women's health, author and recognized by Science Magazine as " The Founder of the Women's Health Movement." Her books include The Doctors' Case Against the Pill, Free and Female, Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones and For Women only: Your Guide to Health Empowerment. On the right is Kate Millett, artist, lecturer, writer and architect of the Women's Movement with her pivotal book, Sexual Politics. Painter, sculptor, photographer. I remember the day that her book, Sita arrived at my bookstore as we displayed it with reverence.

If you look behind these three muse, you will see a fool who appears to be jumping up and down. That may be the case on some level but I know that I am so overwhelmed with the weekend, the women, this event in particular, that my very being is dissolving. (Could it be Scotty beaming me up?)

The day before I was in a room with over 200 of these luminaries and I am still unable to distill my thoughts about the celebration which was an all day, four event gala at Barnard. I suppose it is simply larger than my imagination can fathom ~ and that rarely happens. Maybe it is because of the magic of being 58 which means that I am old enough to know what life was like for American women before these changemakers began their work and that I am young enough to have missed being a part of the point of origination.

These are the women who stood in the intersection of female/male life with a compass and moved the plumb line for me, for you, for all. These are the women I saw in the New York Times, on TV and at Houston, Beijing and South Africa. These are my books on crowded dusty treasure-shelves come to life, walking and, in some cases, knowing my name. They are not supposed to know my name and it was all too much.

After I had been at this breakfast for about an hour, Barbara Love walked towards me and said that she would like to introduce someone to me. I put out my hand to meet hers and choked up almost unable to speak. "I most certainly know who you are. I have read all of your books and love you so much." It was Kate Millett who, you can be sure, I was watching all the day before with great deference and esteem.

That was it for me. I collected my purse and coat. I sought out a friend and said, "This is like cheesecake and if I have one more bite I will be sick. I have to go." And with that I left to wander the streets of SOHO for a couple of hours.



Many people continue to question whether women's colleges offer a sufficiently different educational experience to merit their existence. My parents certainly did. Upon hearing of my decision to attend Barnard, they claimed, "You're not going to be living in a women-only world. There are going to be men, you know." They have a point, as parents often do, but Barnard and other women's colleges instill the belief that as a woman one can accomplish anything, thus empowering them for the world beyond its gates. Barnard has more graduates featured in Feminists Who Changed America: 1963-1975 than any other college, with 48 of the 2,200 individuals listing Barnard in their bios. The dominant presence of Barnard friends and graduates in the book illustrate that Barnard, as well as its fellow women's colleges, offer a unique education unparalleled by coeducational institutions.

Following graduation, these empowered women went off and worked as pioneering feminists. They went beyond the official inequalities in our society, like suffrage, which feminism's first wave tackled, and fought for greater rights in areas such as economic equality and reproductive rights. These Barnard women redefined feminism, paving the way for third-wave feminists and inspiring women's rights movements across the globe. The passion, vision, courage, and strength Barnard granted these women led to a different world where women's rights were elevated. Sometimes women just need that extra push or a pat of encouragement, and women's colleges provide just that and more.

Muriel Fox is senior editor of the book and cofounder of the National Organization for Women. Fox said of her decision to document these 2,200 individuals, "I really felt the movement revolution is the first revolution on history that had thousands of leaders and they deserved recognition." The leaders of the movement indeed deserve their moment in the spotlight.

On Nov. 13, 230 people gathered to celebrate the release of the book at a private gala event in the Sulzberger Parlor of Barnard Hall. Hosted by Barnard President Judith Shapiro, the event opened with a rap session for the featured alumnae led by Sheila Tobias. The guests enjoyed a symposium titled "Past Victories and Mistakes, Future Challenges," moderated by Muriel Fox '78, and a panel with some of this country's leading feminists: Heather Booth, Gracia Molina-Pick, Gloria Steinem, and Catharine Stimpson. Stimpson chaired the task force that created the Center for Research on Women at Barnard and served as the center's first acting director.

A special appearance by singer-songwriter Margie Adam and an exhibit of feminist photographs by Bettye Lane were also in the event's program. The event ended with a dinner at the Columbia Faculty House where the editor of the book, Barbara Love, gave a speech titled "Salute to Honorees; Words of Reminiscence."

Janet Jakobsen, the center's current director, said: "The fact that Barnard has always helped young women make the most of their abilities in any field they chose was a contributing factor. It comes as no surprise that feminism was a field many students chose." I enrolled in professor Rebecca Young's Women and Health class, amazed at the offering of a class solely focused on women's health. I perceived this as the beginning of the advantages of a women's college, and it definitely has not been the last.


Mary Ann Rossi Rossibrack, of Appleton, WI writes:

The rap session was marvelous. there was an array of women who spoke of their early entry into the movement, and what precipitated their entry. I spoke of my starting a CR group, which later became our Appleton,WI, chapter of NOW, which is now the Fox Valley Chapter. Gene Boyer was here at our beginning and she came in1983 to help us celebrate our tenth anniversary.

Our little group stood against the bus carrying our boys to be conscripted for the Vietnam War, we marched down the main street for equal pay, spoke at schools on sex tole stereotyping, started a refuge for battered women, gave testimony for equal credit for women and dual listing of telephone listings (at no charge).

At the rap session I urged women to start those CR groups again. people have forgotten how badly we need the ERA (only three states to go!!!). My friend Dorothy Helly, spoke eloquently for the formations of women's studies programs (now over 700 in the USA); she was a founder of these courses that brought the reality of women's disparagement in academic studies to public light.[She is now giving a paper on this topic in Haifa for the Virginia Snitow Series.]

The weekend was inspiring, Jacqui. Thank you all for making it happen.

In sisterhood,

Mary Ann Rossi

PS My city of residence is Appleton, WI.Madison (U. of WI) is the place where I was a Fellow at the Women's Studies Center for five years, when Donna Shalala was in charge.