ROMANCE

When We Were Free To Be: Looking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made

Univ. of North Carolina. 2012. c.344p. ed. by Lori Rotskoff & . illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780807837238. $30. SOC SCI
COPY ISBN
When We Were Free To Be is a curious title for this book, as it may imply that we are no longer free to be whomever we choose. The 1972 record album and illustrated book, Free To Be You…and Me, which this new volume memorializes, offered gender-neutral stories sung or told by celebrities of the day. The Free To Be Foundation still exists. Contributors to that classic understandably take pride here in what they accomplished. Marlo Thomas, who conceived of the idea behind Free To Be, is here (heavily represented in the photographs), along with Ms. magazine cofounder Gloria Steinem, actor Alan Alda, and writer Deborah Siegel, whose "Dispatches from My Twins' First Year" nicely captures the everyday quandaries of parents trying to be nonsexist. Rotskoff (Barnard Ctr. for Research on Women) and Lovett (history, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst) include separate essays by social justice activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin and her daughters Robin Pogrebin and Abigail Pogrebin, thus providing distinct generational perspectives.
VERDICT General readers familiar with the original record or book, both still available, and researchers interested in social, gender, and media studies will appreciate this work.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?