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My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

My Life on the Road

by Gloria Steinem

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This book provided to me by the Goodreads FirstReads program

This book is like having an engaging, enlightening conversation on tap. The text itself is easy to read; you don't realize you're getting an education as well as a memoir until you notice that your horizons are a bit wider than before you read this. ( )
  hopeevey | May 20, 2018 |
What a journey

It was very difficult to make myself put this book down so I could make it last longer. There are very few I have read that I wish to return to so I can savor again. This one joins that small group. Thank you, Gloria for letting us share your life on the road.
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
I read this, as it was the first book on Emma Watson's reading challenge 2016. I am so glad I did. For better or worse, feminism was a dirty word in the conservative Christian circles I grew up in, so I'd never been aware of her work beyond Ms. Magazine. I don't think I have ever read an article from that magazine, either. Mostly, I heard her name spoken contemptuously whenever pro-lifers gathered together. That's so sad because after reading this book, I've learned that she is one of the most respectful people in modern history. I enjoyed reading about the origins of her model of organizing movements, the circle, where everyone engages in a conversation of mutual respect and is heard. She traces such models back in time, before patriarchal society developed. She also volunteered do to gruntwork in her early years and is able to recollect what she learned from hard work and energy. I have a feeling that she wouldn't do it differently even if she had a chance to do it over again. I wish I could meet her, and be mentored by her. She is a wise and articulate woman. Finally, her book was an encouragement to all women to find and travel their own roads, that we can have the courage to create and to venture outside our homes. It was beautiful, really, to have another person validate many of my core values. She gets the journey. ( )
  MsKathleen | Jan 29, 2018 |
Provides insights into low tech community - organizing and open leadership.
  open-leadership | Jan 24, 2018 |
I picked this book up because I was excited about the possibilities of Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf project. I didn't know how excited I was about this book in particular, but really, for a feminist and Ms. magazine subscriber, I know surprisingly little about Gloria Steinem. In the end I decided if there was a larger conversation spawned by the book club and/or this book, I wanted to be ready with an opinion.

Well, after all the flurry of press and blog posts about Watson's idea for the book club, I was a little surprised how quickly it all died away. After I bought my copy, I was curious about the strength of Watson's book bump, and looked for analytics on this book's sales both before and after he pick, but could find nothing. One or two articles mentioned how many thousands had signed on to the group on goodreads, but how many bought it? checked it out? read it?

As for the book itself -- I had a middling reaction. I liked learning more about Steinem, I liked learning more about pivotal moment in American feminist history, I liked the glimpses into her offbeat upbringing -- her family spending months at a time on the road. But I was often frustrated by the fragmentary nature of this book of essays. Steinem is accomplished at storytelling, and she's collected some good ones here -- but there were a lot of dots I wanted to see connected. Some deeper feminist analysis of issues touched on here only glancingly.

Interested in seeing how much momentum there is on this experiment, and where Watson hopes to take us. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
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"Evolution intended us to be travelers...Settlement for any length of time, in cave or castle, has at best been...a drop in the ocean of evolutionary time." --Bruce Chatwin, Anatomy of Restlessness
Dr. John Sharpe of London, who in 1957, a decade before physicians in England could legally perform an abortion for any reason other than the health of the woman, took the considerable risk of referring for an abortion a twenty-two-year-old American on her way to India.

Knowing only that she had broken an engagement at home to seek an unknown fate, he said, "You must promise me two things. First, you will not tell anyone my name. Second, you will do what you want to do with your life." Dear Dr. Sharpe, I believe you, who knew the law was unjust, would not mind if I say this so long after your death: I've done the best I could with my life. This book is for you.
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When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel.
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"Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. Every fall, her father would pack the family into the car and they would drive across the country, in search of their next adventure. The seeds were planted: Steinem would spend much of her life on the road, as a journalist, organizer, activist, and speaker. In vivid stories that span an entire career, Steinem writes about her time on the campaign trail, from Bobby Kennedy to Hillary Clinton; her early exposure to social activism in India, and the decades spent organizing ground-up movements in America; the taxi drivers who were "vectors of modern myths" and the airline stewardesses who embraced the feminist revolution; and the infinite, surprising contrasts, the "surrealism in everyday life" that Steinem encountered as she traveled back and forth across the country. With the unique perspective of one of the greatest feminist icons of the 20th and 21st centuries, here is an inspiring, profound, enlightening memoir of one woman's life-long journey"--… (more)

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