Melissa R. Klapper
Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace
American Jewish Women's Activism, 1890-1940
New York University Press 2013
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Jewish StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network March 18, 2013 Marshall Poe
Many people have probably heard of Betty Friedan, Bela Abzug, Gloria Steinem, and Andrea Dworkin, all stars of Second Wave Feminism. They were also all Jewish (by heritage if not faith). As Melissa R. Klapper shows in her new book Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 1890-1940 (New York University Press, 2013), this was no accident. Freidan et al. inherited a rich tradition Jewish women’s activism in the U.S. These women did not burn their bras (it’s not clear that any feminists did, actually), but they did fight for the vote, for birth control, and for peace. In this interview, Melissa explains why, how, and to what extent they succeeded.