The Majority Finds Its Past

Placing Women in History

By Gerda Lerner

Foreword by Linda K. Kerber

208 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 8 tables, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5606-2
    Published: April 2005
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-1709-1
    Published: March 2014

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Lauded for its contribution to the theory and conceptualization of the field of women's history and for its sensitivity to the differences of class, ethnicity, race, and culture among women, The Majority Finds Its Past became a classic volume in women's history following its publication in 1979. This edition includes a foreword by Linda K. Kerber, introducing a new generation of readers to Gerda Lerner's considerable body of work and highlighting the importance of the essays in this collection to the development of the field that Lerner helped establish.

About the Author

Gerda Lerner (1920-2013), author of twelve books in women's history, was one of the founders of the field in the 1960s. She was past president of the Organization of American Historians, Robinson-Edwards Professor Emerita of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and visiting professor of history at Duke University. She was also author of Fireweed: A Political Autobiography.
For more information about Gerda Lerner, visit the Author Page.


"Lerner's fervent personal and professional commitment to developing the field of women's history should continue to spur researchers to study their own past, to pose new questions, and to offer new critiques and conceptualizations in an ongoing effort to practice women's history and women's studies."--Feminist Teacher

"Gerda Lerner has done more than most and arguably more than anyone to establish the history of women as a field of inquiry. Like other historians, since the 1960s she has been undertaking scrupulous research and writing lucid narratives; unlike historians in other fields, she had first to demand respect for her subject. She did this most effectively in the essays that are collected here."--Linda K. Kerber, from the Foreword

"In a dozen keen and tough-minded essays, Gerda Lerner unravels the triple knots of sex, class, and race--and helps American women understand where we must go by showing us so clearly where we have been."--Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Ms. Magazine

"Even historians who read these provocative essays as they appeared will find stimulation in re-reading them as a developing argument, and will come away with much to think about. For many others, this volume should provide an excellent introduction to the shift in perspective which takes place when women as well as men are viewed as part of the historical process, a shift which Gerda Lerner has done so much to bring about."--Ann Firor Scott, Duke University, Emerita

"This volume includes some of the most important and influential articles written in women's history."--Katherine Kish Sklar, Binghamton University

"These essays have richness, breadth, and importance. . . . They are truly impassioned as well as wise and learned explorations. . . . They compose the intellectual autobiography of a feminist historian of the first order."--Katherine Frank, Miami Herald

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