The Other Feminists


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Activists in the Liberal Establishment

Susan M. Hartmann

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This intriguing book enriches our understanding of the women’s movement in the United States by showing how feminists captured a place for their goals on the agendas of four male-dominated liberal organizations in the 1960s and 1970s: the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Council of Churches, the Ford Foundation, and the International Union of Electrical Workers. Susan M. Hartmann examines the efforts of women and men who had few ties to the independent women’s movement—and thus have been neglected in studies of second-wave feminism—but who nonetheless contributed substantially to the spread of feminist ideas and practices into the mainstream of American society. She identifies key resources that these establishment groups furnished the independent women’s movement—money, legitimacy, and access to the critical arenas of public opinion and government.
Revising the common view that the second wave of feminism was a white middle-class phenomenon, Hartmann discovers significant numbers of women of color and working-class women who pushed feminist agendas. In demonstrating how feminist change took place within establishment organizations, the book highlights the processes and the benefits that attended the incorporation of feminism into the frames of economic and racial justice, individual rights, and Christian values. It thus illuminates both the reach and the staying power of second-wave feminism.

Susan M. Hartmann is professor of history and women’s studies at Ohio State University.

"This book adds substantially to our understanding of the breadth of feminist activism in the 1960s and 1970s. Hartmann reclaims a lost heritage for feminism that is more racially and class-inclusive than many scholars concede it to be."—Elizabeth Faue, Wayne State University

“In Hartmann’s work, we begin to see the powerful importance of feminist activism within mainstream, liberal organizations. . . . An important contribution.”—Lawrence A. Clayton, American Historical Review

“For informed readers . . . [this book] should be a standard.”—Choice

“Hartmann’s work is an important contribution to women’s history. . . . [This] volume will stand as a path-breaking revisionist work that no serious student of modern American history can ignore.”—Nancy Beck Young, H-Net Reviews

“The feminist movement looks very different after reading Hartmann’s book. . . . What makes The Other Feminists especially effective is evidence from organizations with mass appeal and large memberships. Union women, churchwomen, and African-American women have been neglected in extant accounts. Remedying this oversight, Hartmann transforms current understandings of modern feminism.”—Nancy Gabin, Journal of Women’s History

The Other Feminists should encourage nonprofit organizations, liberal and otherwise, to look in the mirror more often.”—Richard Magat, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly

“Hartmann’s work enriches our understanding of contemporary feminism upon which future researches will build. The Other Feminists is an important book that will take its place as core reading on the subject.”—Dennis A. Deslippe, Women & Politics

The Other Feminists is a valuable contribution to the increasing number of revisionist histories of the second wave the challenge earlier views.”—Amy Swerdlow, Women’s Studies Quarterly

ISBN: 9780300206432
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
304 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
12 b/w illus.