Monday, August 11, 2008

From the August Mailbox

It's the truth--once I had got into the story, I was hooked--and I finished the book so admiring of you.

You had loads of what we English used to call gumption and where I just bowed my head and buckled and complained, you were brave and made your way and thereby cleared a path for others.

And weirdly, though I consider myself an old feminist, I needed the central messages--that change is brought about by the dedicated activism of a few, not through some kind of inexorable cultural tide--that the work and achevements of previous generations of women advocates are systematically erased from the cultural record so it's always three steps forward and then two back at best.

I am buying five more copies of your book to send to friends.

Love and Congrats G

From the August Mailbox

Dear Judy,

I just received your new book from my mama for my birthday and I dove into it this eve. I'm only 23 pages in but am totally IN. I really am drawn into your style and am piecing together bits of history that I vaguely remember learning--now made more clear with your insightful stories and juicy descriptions. I'm sure people will read this on a lot of levels, but for Christina and other women of our generation there is the definite learning in store to not take for granted what we can now do as women. I'm off to finish chapter 2 and onto the next...

Friday, August 1, 2008

From the August Mailbox

Judith--I am having a wonderful time with your book.

I ran the gauntlet about 5 years ahead of you and from an academic (Harvard) rather than a political (SAIS) base but there are still a lot of personal parallels but also of course deep engagement in the politics of the period--although for me at more of a remove than a staffer on Congressional committees!

I didn't know that you were going to tell the story so personally and it's obviously a brave decision but as I read I think there's no other way to convey the reality of your two main themes--the narrowness of the decision-makers' perception of the world in spite of their seeming worldiness--and the deep cultural roots under the daily reality of discrimination against women.

I haven't finished but I've done little else but read these last few days. Thank you for doing this.

Most sincerely,