Feminism, Sexuality, and Politics

Essays by Estelle B. Freedman

By Estelle B. Freedman

272 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5694-9
    Published: April 2006
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-7710-4
    Published: December 2006
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7948-6
    Published: December 2006

Gender and American Culture

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One of a small group of feminist pioneers in the historical profession, Estelle B. Freedman teaches and writes about women's history with a passion informed by her feminist values. Over the past thirty years, she has produced a body of work in which scholarship and politics have never been mutually exclusive. This collection brings together eleven essays--eight previously published and three new--that document the evolving relationship between academic feminism and political feminism as Freedman has studied and lived it.

Following an introduction that presents a map of the personal and intellectual trajectory of Freedman's work, the first section of essays, on the origins and strategies of women's activism in U.S. history, reiterates the importance of valuing women in a society that has long devalued their contributions. The second section, on the maintenance of sexual boundaries, explores the malleability of both sexual identities and sexual politics. Underlying the collection is an inquiry into the changing meanings of gender, sexuality, and politics during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries along with a concern for applying the insights of women's history broadly, from the classroom to the courthouse.

About the Author

Estelle B. Freedman is Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History at Stanford University. Her six other books include No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women, Maternal Justice: Miriam Van Waters and the Female Reform Tradition, and Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America.
For more information about Estelle B. Freedman, visit the Author Page.


"Well-crafted and researched. . . . Provides readers with eleven widespread examples of feminism's perseverance and pertinence in a society that for decades has tried to squelch its progress."--Feminist Teacher

"Estelle Freedman's outstanding new collection of essays showcases her foundational work on the political history of women's networks and institutions, the social construction of sexual and homosexual identities, and the application of feminist principles in the classroom, the university, and the polity. For those needing confirmation that Freedman is a leading social historian of gender and sexuality in the United States, this book is it."--Marc Stein, York University

"Each of the essays included here is an outstanding example of the work of one of the most distinguished feminist scholars of our time. Taken together, in their breadth, depth, and variety, they comprise a scholarly collection that is important and powerful. Bringing together all of these essays and articles offers students, scholars, and general readers an elegant and cohesive introduction to the work of a premier scholar of women's history, gender, and sexuality--and an excellent introduction to the field as well."--Elaine Tyler May, author of Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era