Ms. Gloria Steinem: A Life

Ms. Gloria Steinem: A Life

by Winifred Conkling

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Overview

Throughout the years, Gloria Steinem is perhaps the single-most iconic figure associated with women's rights, her name practically synonymous with the word "feminism."

Documenting everything from her boundary-pushing journalistic career to the foundation of Ms. magazine to being awarded the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom, Winifred Conkling's Ms. Gloria Steinem: A Life is a meticulously researched YA biography that is sure to satisfy even the most voracious of aspiring glass-ceiling smashers.


Gloria Steinem was no stranger to injustice even from a young age.

Her mother, Ruth, having suffered a nervous breakdown at only 34, spent much of Gloria's childhood in and out of mental health facilities. And when Gloria was only 10 years old, her father divorced her mother and left for California, unable to bear the stress of caring for Ruth any longer.

Gloria never blamed her mother for being unable to hold down a job to support them both after that, but rather blamed society's intrinsic hostility toward women, and working women in particular. This was the spark that lit a fire in her that would burn for decades, and continues to burn brightly today.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

06/01/2020

Conkling (Heroism Begins with Her) provides a comprehensive biography of Gloria Steinem, often shining psychological insight onto the actions and writings of this icon of American feminism. Born in 1934 to parents who divorced when she was 10, Steinem’s childhood was difficult, dominated by poverty and her mentally ill mother’s need for care. After graduating from Smith College and spending time in India, Steinem pursued a journalism career. While supporting herself primarily as a writer, Steinem’s activism in political arenas—Vietnam War protests, migrant workers’ rights—gradually crystallized into a focus on feminist issues. Steinem consciously dedicated herself to feminism in 1969; since then, she has remained a leader of this movement, as a cofounder of Ms. magazine, as a speaker and essayist, and as a campaigner for women’s rights and representation. Though Steinem attributes her independence and feminist leanings to parental influences, experience and intellectual rigor contribute equally to her status. Conkling provides a clear, sensitive portrayal of one of the foremost feminists of the modern age. Back matter highlights the Ms. Foundation, provides timelines of Steinem’s life and American feminism, and more. Ages 12–up. (June)

From the Publisher

"An enlightening, high-quality narrative history of a woman and her work as a leader of American feminism." —School Library Journal, on Ms. Gloria Steinem, starred review

"
This wonderfully detailed biography provides insights into the events that shaped Gloria Steinem's life and turned her into a groundbreaking advocate for women's rights." —Booklist on Ms. Gloria Steinem

"Conkling provides a clear, sensitive portrayal of one of the foremost feminists of the modern age." —Publishers Weekly on Ms. Gloria Steinem

"insightful . . . readers will come away with a deeper appreciation for how much has changed for women during Steinem’s lifetime and how much of that change was forged by Steinem herself. Extensive back matter includes timelines of Steinem’s life and of feminism in America, a “Who’s Who” list, source notes, and a bibliography." —Horn Book on Ms. Gloria Steinem

Praise for Votes for Women!:

"Almost a century after women's right to vote was secured, Conkling delivers a tour de force—fairly neutral, at times infuriating, occasionally graphic, and reminiscent of disturbing news today." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This is a fascinating account of the bumpy road to women's suffrage in the U.S. ... Well-chosen black-and-white archival reproductions and photographs ably support the text, which makes excellent use of primary sources, including excerpts from letters and writings to bring key personalities to life." —The Horn Book, starred review

"This comprehensive history chronicles the almost-80-year battle for women's suffrage. Conkling (Radioactive!) effectively sketches the complex personalities of the women who fought for women's right to vote, beginning with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and including subsequent leaders Carrie Chapman Catt and the more radical Alice Paul. ... A commanding and relevant account of sweeping, hard-won social reform and action." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

School Library Journal

★ 05/01/2020

Gr 9 Up—Conkling's biography describes the life of feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Steinem's unconventional childhood allowed her to view traditional gender roles in Western society through a different lens. By the time she was in college in the 1950s, Steinem realized she didn't want to be known as just someone's wife or mother, but as a complex individual. She became one of the leaders in the second wave of feminism; she continues to fight for civil rights today. With an easy-to-read narrative style, Conkling provides context to Steinem's desire for women to have the power to make their own choices. Readers will find Conkling's portrayal of Steinem to be authentic and relevant as she fights for equality for women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and marginalized groups. Some of the traumas described (pet death, abortion, rape) could be unsettling for some readers. Though the chapters about Ms. magazine feel slow at times, Steinem's life is fascinating until the last page. Back matter includes details of the Ms. Foundation, a time line, "Partners in Justice," a glossary of feminists, a bibliography, and comprehensive source notes. VERDICT An enlightening, high-quality narrative history of a woman and her work as a leader of American feminism. Recommended for fans of Conkling's Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, and Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space by Libby Jackson.—Hilary Tufo, Columbus Metropolitan Library-Reynoldsburg, OH

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250244574
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: 06/30/2020
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 500,522
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews