Revolutionary Feminists: The Women’s Liberation Movement in Seattle

Duke Univ. Aug. 2023. 248p. ISBN 9781478019916. pap. $26.95. HIST
Over the years, historical analyses of the 1970s feminist movement in the U.S. have largely focused on the East Coast. Winslow (emerita, women’s and gender studies, Brooklyn Coll.), author of biographies of Shirley Chisholm and Sylvia Pankhurst, discusses the feminist movement in Seattle. She meticulously combs through the story of how groups such as the Socialist Workers Party, Radical Women, and the Black Panthers worked to influence progressive legislation on the West Coast and across the country. The writing’s strength lies in its thoroughness of detail and commitment to giving voice to small, grassroots organizations that might otherwise be overlooked. Bringing this balance to explaining the events of Seattle’s feminist movement gives space for readers to understand how myths, such as a consistent connection between radical feminists and left-wing politics, have been perpetuated by specific media outlets and carried over into academia. Arguably, this misrepresentation of facts contributed to the ongoing struggle for abortion reform and feminism’s difficulty building relationships with BIPOC communities.
VERDICT Recommended for readers with an interest in political science, U.S. history, and feminist or diversity studies.
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