The Solitude of Self: Thinking About Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Vivian Gornick.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: NY, 2005.

I read The Solitude of Self (Gornick), because I was looking for biographical material regarding Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Gornick says in the bibliography that the book is not a "work of scholarship." I don't know if I totally agree with that statement. She has done a fair amount of research, and she clearly portrays Stanton's work towards, and thinking and frustration regarding, women's rights. The book is short, not a long dissertation. It also does not cloak the passion of the author. But it does give me the view of Stanton that I was searching for. It also makes me want to read further, including some of Stanton's writings - a mark of good biographical material.

The author's purpose was to explain her own feminist experience and compare it with that of Stanton. Through this brief view of Stanton's life, focusing primarily on the long period of her activism on behalf of women, I learned things I didn't know (ex. that Stanton was responsible for The Woman's Bible, which was still controversial in the 1970s and that the movement started well before the Civil War).

I think this would be a good starting point for young adults and others looking for information on Stanton's importance in the movement, an understanding of the movement itself, and cultural factors impeding progress. There is more biographical information in the book than I expected to find. The book was written for adults, but is brief and accessible to young adults.

related-Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women's rights and suffrage, feminists, social activism

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