New Internationalist

No turning back: The history of feminism and the future of women

Issue 351

This is a very thorough account of women’s struggles. Starting with women’s position in society in prehistoric times it moves through the centuries and across the globe, from slavery in Africa to class in medieval Europe, from the Civil Rights movement in the US to reproductive health in Latin America.

The arguments rehearsed on, say, ‘biology is destiny’, are well known. One could even say a little ‘old hat’. But the book does give a real sense of how the political goals of feminism have survived. Freedman bills No Turning Back as something she decided to write because ‘no single book existed’ that ‘brought together the interdisciplinary literature that the past generation of feminist scholars has produced’. But a bit more about the future to add to such vast tracts on the past would have been welcome.

Nikki van der Gaag

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