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About Linda Gordon
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A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection
An urgent examination into the revived Klan of the 1920s becomes “required reading” for our time (New York Times Book Review).
Extraordinary national acclaim accompanied the publication of award-winning historian Linda Gordon’s disturbing and markedly timely history of the reassembled Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s. Dramatically challenging our preconceptions of the hooded Klansmen responsible for establishing a Jim Crow racial hierarchy in the 1870s South, this “second Klan” spread in states principally above the Mason-Dixon line by courting xenophobic fears surrounding the flood of immigrant “hordes” landing on American shores. “Part cautionary tale, part expose” (Washington Post), The Second Coming of the KKK “illuminates the surprising scope of the movement” (The New Yorker); the Klan attracted four-to-six-million members through secret rituals, manufactured news stories, and mass “Klonvocations” prior to its collapse in 1926—but not before its potent ideology of intolerance became part and parcel of the American tradition. A “must-read” (Salon) for anyone looking to understand the current moment, The Second Coming of the KKK offers “chilling comparisons to the present day” (New York Review of Books).
Reframing feminism for the twenty-first century, this bold and essential history stands up against "bland corporate manifestos" (Sarah Leonard).
Eschewing the conventional wisdom that places the origins of the American women’s movement in the nostalgic glow of the late 1960s, Feminism Unfinished traces the beginnings of this seminal American social movement to the 1920s, in the process creating an expanded, historical narrative that dramatically rewrites a century of American women’s history. Also challenging the contemporary “lean-in,” trickle-down feminist philosophy and asserting that women’s histories all too often depoliticize politics, labor issues, and divergent economic circumstances, Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon, and Astrid Henry demonstrate that the post-Suffrage women’s movement focused on exploitation of women in the workplace as well as on inherent sexual rights. The authors carefully revise our “wave” vision of feminism, which previously suggested that there were clear breaks and sharp divisions within these media-driven “waves.” Showing how history books have obscured the notable activism by working-class and minority women in the past, Feminism Unfinished provides a much-needed corrective.
Winner of the 2010 Bancroft Prize and finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography: The definitive biography of a heroic chronicler of America's Depression and one of the twentieth century's greatest photographers.
We all know Dorothea Lange's iconic photos—the Migrant Mother holding her child, the shoeless children of the Dust Bowl—but now renowned American historian Linda Gordon brings them to three-dimensional life in this groundbreaking exploration of Lange's transformation into a documentarist. Using Lange's life to anchor a moving social history of twentieth-century America, Gordon masterfully re-creates bohemian San Francisco, the Depression, and the Japanese-American internment camps. Accompanied by more than one hundred images—many of them previously unseen and some formerly suppressed—Gordon has written a sparkling, fast-moving story that testifies to her status as one of the most gifted historians of our time. Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; a New York Times Notable Book; New Yorker's A Year's Reading; and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book.
The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction tells this disturbing and dramatic tale to illuminate the creation of racial boundaries along the Mexican border. Clifton/Morenci, Arizona, was a "wild West" boomtown, where the mines and smelters pulled in thousands of Mexican immigrant workers. Racial walls hardened as the mines became big business and whiteness became a marker of superiority. These already volatile race and class relations produced passions that erupted in the "orphan incident." To the Anglos of Clifton/Morenci, placing a white child with a Mexican family was tantamount to child abuse, and they saw their kidnapping as a rescue.
Women initiated both sides of this confrontation. Mexican women agreed to take in these orphans, both serving their church and asserting a maternal prerogative; Anglo women believed they had to "save" the orphans, and they organized a vigilante squad to do it. In retelling this nearly forgotten piece of American history, Linda Gordon brilliantly recreates and dissects the tangled intersection of family and racial values, in a gripping story that resonates with today's conflicts over the "best interests of the child."
Gordon puts today's reproduction control controversies--foreign aid for family planning, the abortion debates, teenage pregnancy and childbearing, stem-cell research--into historical perspective and shows how the campaign to legalize abortion is part of a 150-year-old struggle over reproductive rights, a struggle that has followed a circuitous path. Beginning with the "folk medicine" of birth control, Gordon discusses how the backlash against the first women's rights movement of the 1800s prohibited both abortion and contraception about 130 years ago. She traces the campaign for legal reproduction control from the 1870s to the present and argues that attitudes toward birth control have been inseparable from family values, especially standards about sexuality and gender equality.
Highlighting both leaders and followers in the struggle, The Moral Property of Women chronicles the contributions of well-known reproduction control pioneers such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Sanger, and Emma Goldman, as well as lesser- known campaigners including the utopian socialist Robert Dale Owen, the three doctors Foote--Edward Bliss Foote, Edward Bond Foote, and Mary Bond Foote--the civil libertarian Mary Ware Dennett, and the daring Jane project of the 1970s, in which Chicago women's liberation activists performed illegal abortions.