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From Eve to Dawn
Cover of From Eve to Dawn
From Eve to Dawn
A History of Women in the World Volume IV: Origins, Book 4
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The conclusion of the "remarkable" four-volume history by the New York Times–bestselling author of The Women's Room (Publishers Weekly).

In the twentieth century, women became a force for change, in part through suffrage, and in part through mass organizing. This final volume of Marilyn French's wide-ranging survey offers a vibrant history of multiple political revolutions as well as the century's horrors—including genocides and the atom bomb. It ends with a thoughtful investigation into the various indigenous feminist movements throughout the world and asks what these peaceful revolutions might augur for the future.

Eschewing easy answers, French suggests that the defining moral moments of the twenty-first century should, and will, build from a global human rights agenda.
The conclusion of the "remarkable" four-volume history by the New York Times–bestselling author of The Women's Room (Publishers Weekly).

In the twentieth century, women became a force for change, in part through suffrage, and in part through mass organizing. This final volume of Marilyn French's wide-ranging survey offers a vibrant history of multiple political revolutions as well as the century's horrors—including genocides and the atom bomb. It ends with a thoughtful investigation into the various indigenous feminist movements throughout the world and asks what these peaceful revolutions might augur for the future.

Eschewing easy answers, French suggests that the defining moral moments of the twenty-first century should, and will, build from a global human rights agenda.
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About the Author-
  • Marilyn French was a novelist and feminist. Her books include The Women's Room, which has been translated into twenty languages; From Eve to Dawn, a History of Women in the World; A Season in Hell; Her Mother's Daughter; Our Father; My Summer with George; and The Bleeding Heart. She died in 2009.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 31, 2008
    IN THE FINAL INSTALLMENT OF HER FOUR-VOLUME FEMINIST HISTORY, FRENCH GRATIFIES READERS WITH AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING VIEW OF WOMEN'S MAJOR AND MINOR 20TH CENTURY VICTORIES FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE GLOBE. FRENCH HONORS BOTH MALE AND FEMALE LEADERS, LOCATING FEMINIST UPRISINGS IN SUCH UNEXPECTED PLACES AS TURKEY, WHERE REFORMIST PRESIDENT MUSTAPHA KEMAL ACCEPTED WOMEN IN HIS ARMY AND APPEARED IN PUBLIC WITH HIS EDUCATED WIFE UNVEILED. WITH PATIENCE, RESEARCH AND AN EXTRAORDINARY SENSE OF SCALE, FRENCH EXAMINES THE EFFECTS THAT THE CURRENT MAJOR FORMS OF GOVERNMENT HAVE HAD ON WOMEN THROUGHOUT THE CENTURIES, AND CORRELATES THOSE FINDINGS WITH THE CURRENT SOCIAL AND POLITICAL MOMENT IN LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. SHE ALSO TACKLES THE SUBJECTS OF RELIGION AND WAR, WHICH SHE CLAIMS ARE THE TWO MODERN FORMS OF PATRIARCHY\x81\MEN'S WAY OF SUCCESSFULLY DOMINATING NOT JUST WOMEN BUT OTHER MEN. HER MOST CURIOUS AND INSIGHTFUL VOLUME, THIS BOOK LEAVES NO ANGLE UNEXPLORED. THOUGH OFTEN WORDY, FRENCH OFFERS A STRIKING OVERVIEW OF FEMINIST THEORY AND ACTION ALONGSIDE HER OWN VIEWS, POLISHING OFF AN EXQUISITE HISTORY USEFUL FOR BOTH PERSONAL AND CLASSROOM STUDY.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from January 15, 2009
    Feminist Press now brings the second half of French's monumental work, originally published in Canada in 2003, to a thankful American audience. Volumes 3 and 4 delve into the economic and political revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Industrialization and the ensuing capitalist, Socialist, Communist, and anti-imperialist movements across the globe all benefit from French's erudite feminist historical treatment. Her coverage is encyclopedic, but her prose is impressively accessible, creating a rare find: a page-turning, can't-put-it-down history text. The book's simple premise is concisely stated in the foreword by Margaret Atwood: "Women, it seems, are not a footnote after all." Yet to bring a gender-inclusive history to fruition required 15 years of comprehensive scholarship, all highly visible in each volume. Biographies of exceptional women, ethnographic studies, anthropological scholarship, and feminist theory bolster French's historical narrative.With women at the center of this history, examination of power is vital; French tackles its core: the political structures, economic forces, and social practices that allow one group of people to dominate another. She highlights the exploitation of female labor in both the public and the private spheres as well as the patriarchal structure of political systems, including those that claim egalitarianism. She notes women's attempts to counter oppressive institutions and practices, e.g., via suffrage movements in Great Britain and the United States and anti-colonialist revolutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. French is always keenly aware of the collision among gender, race, and class, never glossing over women's shifting position on the power scale as both oppressed and oppressor. She doesn't shy away from biology either, acknowledging the challenges presented by the female body's unique ability to bear life. This is not a simple repackaging of history for women. French instead gives life to a new way of looking at the world as it exists for women. Her history is sure to inspire the burgeoning feminist in every woman and man. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries and essential for universities with women's studies programs.Veronica Arellano, Univ. of Houston Libs., TX

    Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publishers Weekly, starred review

    "With patience, research, and an extraordinary sense of scale . . . French offers a striking overview of feminist theory and action alongside her own views, polishing off an exquisite history useful for both personal and classroom study."

  • Library Journal, starred review "[French's] coverage is encyclopedic, but her prose is impressively accessible, creating a rare find: a page-turning, can't-put-it-down history text. . . . This is not a simple repackaging of history for women. French instead gives life to a new way of looking at the world as it exists for women. Her history is sure to inspire the burgeoning feminist in every woman and man. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries and essential for universities with women's studies programs."
  • Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt, Volumes I, II, III "Deeply wise, lyrical, and powerful. With this empowering book as our guide, we face the twenty-first century--and its fundamentalist brutality--emboldened and reinvigorated. A global and spectacular literary, political, and cultural history."
  • Feminist Review "A must-read for any women's history enthusiast."
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    The Feminist Press at CUNY
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From Eve to Dawn
From Eve to Dawn
A History of Women in the World Volume IV: Origins, Book 4
Marilyn French
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