Today's women are so comfortable in their authority that they often forget to credit the women's liberation movement of the 1960s and '70s for paving the way—from the kitchen to the boardroom, from sexual harassment to self-defense, from cheerleading on the sidelines to playing center on the team. Distinguished scholars and active participants in the movement, Linda Gordon and Rosalyn Baxandall have collected a colorful array of documents—songs, leaflets, cartoons, position papers—that illustrate the range of people, places, organizations, and ideas that made up the movement. Dear Sisters chronicles historical change in such broad areas as health, work, and family, and captures the subtle humor, unceasing passion, and overwhelming diversity that defined the women's liberation movement.
Although the title and subtitle of this outstanding collection pretty much say it all, readers will be delighted to have these leaflets, essays, op-ed pieces, cartoons ("Wonder Woman with a Speculum" is especially fetching), and other essential and/or ephemeral documents of the women's liberation movement, dating from about 1968-1977. Much of the work collected and commented on here was collaborative or anonymous (almost all of it has been preserved by chance), and it has also been substantially abridged to make room for as much material as possible. Nevertheless, it supports a vivid picture of the hope, defiance, and giddy enthusiasm that characterized the women's movement in those years. The section on women's health--in which feminists have made such enormous strides--is especially cheering. --Regina Marler