To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done For America - A History

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HMH, Jun 8, 2000 - History - 448 pages
1 Review
A unique and “often quite moving” look at gay women’s role in US history (The Washington Post).

In this “essential and impassioned addition to American history,” the three-time Lambda Literary Award winner and author of Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers focuses on a select group of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century lesbians who were in the forefront of the battle to procure the rights and privileges that large numbers of Americans enjoy today (Kirkus Reviews).
Hoping to “set the record straight (or, in this case, unstraight)” for all Americans and provide a “usable past” for lesbians in particular, Lillian Faderman persuasively argues that the sexual orientation of her subjects may in fact have facilitated their accomplishments. With impeccably drawn portraits of such seminal figures as Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Eleanor Roosevelt, To Believe in Women “will raise eyebrows and consciousness” (Dianne Wood Middlebrook). As Faderman writes in her introduction, “This is a book about how millions of American women became what they are now: full citizens, educated, and capable of earning a decent living for themselves.”
A landmark work of impeccable research and compelling readability, To Believe in Women is an enlightening and surprising read.
“For those who need a dose of pride and a slice of history, Faderman’s portraits should strike a popular note. ‘To Believe in Women’ is a decent starting point for learning about these pioneers and their contributions to American life.” —The New York Times

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I How Americon Women Gol Enfronchised
II How America Got a Social Conscience
III How Americon Women Got Educated
IV How Americon Women Got into the Professions
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Page 18 - ... assemblage of rampant women which convened at the Tabernacle yesterday was an interesting phase in the comic history of the nineteenth century.
Page 8 - Two selfsupporting adults decide to make a home together: if both are women it is a pleasant partnership, more fun than work; if one is a man, it is almost never a partnership — the woman simply adds running the home to her regular outside job.
Page 26 - The sunniest of sunny mornings to you, how are you today? Well and happy, I hope. To tell the truth I want to see you very much indeed, to hold your hand in mine, to hear your voice, in a word, I want you — I can't have you? Well, I will at least put down a little fragment of my foolish self and send it to look up at you...

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About the author (2000)

Lillian Faderman is the author of such acclaimed works as To Believe in Women, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, and Surpassing the Love of Men. Among the many honors her work has received are Yale University’s James Brudner Award for exemplary scholarship in lesbian and gay studies, three Lambda Literary Awards, and the Paul Monette Award. She teaches literature and creative writing at California State University at Fresno.

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