Woman: The American History of an Idea

Woman: The American History of an Idea

By Lillian Faderman

A comprehensive history of the struggle to define womanhood in America, from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century


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Book Information

Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 03/15/2022
Pages: 600
ISBN-13: 9780300249903
ISBN-10: 030024990X
Language: English

What We're Saying

March 01, 2023

A booklist to celebrate woman and women. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

June 01, 2022

Pride Month Booklist

By Gabbi Cisneros

Through both joyous celebrations and more difficult work and learning, we can strive to become better allies or LGBTQIA+ community members. We see you, and we read you. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

April 27, 2022

We invite our reading community to come along as we take a deeper look at Woman: The American History of an Idea and learn more about author Lillian Faderman through this live-streamed interview. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

A comprehensive history of the struggle to define womanhood in America, from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century "Exhaustively researched and finely written."--Alexandra Jacobs, New York Times "An intelligently provocative, vital reading experience. . . . This highly readable, inclusive, and deeply researched book will appeal to scholars of women and gender studies as well as anyone seeking to understand the historical patterns that misogyny has etched across every era of American culture."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review What does it mean to be a "woman" in America? Award-winning gender and sexuality scholar Lillian Faderman traces the evolution of the meaning from Puritan ideas of God's plan for women to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and its reversals to the impact of such recent events as #metoo, the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the election of Kamala Harris as vice president, and the transgender movement. This wide-ranging 400-year history chronicles conflicts, retreats, defeats, and hard-won victories in both the private and the public sectors and shines a light on the often-overlooked battles of enslaved women and women leaders in tribal nations. Noting that every attempt to cement a particular definition of "woman" has been met with resistance, Faderman also shows that successful challenges to the status quo are often short-lived. As she underlines, the idea of womanhood in America continues to be contested.

About the Author

Lillian Faderman is an internationally known scholar of lesbian history and literature, as well as ethnic history and literature. Among her many honors are six Lambda Literary Awards, two American Library Association Awards, and several lifetime achievement awards for scholarship.

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