My Life on the Road-Gloria Steinem's Autobiography Book Review

Because I read this book on the Kindle, I didn't have a great pic of the cover so instead, here's a picture of my life on the road.

I've read plenty of autobiographies and biographies in general. Most people love to go on and on about their own accomplishments, some of which aren't all that impressive. Other biographers drone on and on about the minute details of their subject's life-I don't care that he was extremely fond of German Shepherds, he also called for the elimination of 11 million people! (Hitler if you were wondering.) This is the first autobiography I've ever read where the author used all 305 pages to celebrate others. Interesting and impressive.

This is the best book I've ever read, if we're talking about the amount that I learned. It wasn't supposed to be. I expected a light autobiography about Gloria Steinem's life and career and articles and books she'd written-a referral to her other works, if you will. I never expected to get to know each of the people that influenced her, at almost a personal level. I've never read another book with so much information packed into every page, in a way that you actually care to retain it, and where 'controversial' statements are footnoted with documentation and facts. YAS GLORIA, YAS! This book was 305 pages of gentle, mind-opening, feminist heaven.

Gloria Steinem explores her early life on the road with her parents-her mother, a broken housewife dragged along on the road for her father's constant money-making...schemes, I guess would be the right word. She describes her parents and family in great detail only to explain why and how she ended up where she did. She then goes on to talk about other people she met along the way to her becoming an activist and public speaker. Yes ,the book chronicles some of her most interesting speaking and activism engagements but she doesn't drone on about herself. Instead, she writes about Flo Kennedy, a civil rights lawyer, fellow activist, and her speaking partner for much of her early career who got her through, to some degree, her fear of public speaking. She also writes about Wilma Mankiller, an amazing Native American woman who rallied communities to have water systems dug independently when they weren't responded to by the authorities. And in my opinion, the most interesting, her relationship with Father Harvey Egan, a Catholic priest who was slammed by the church for having her come and give a sermon with him. Instead of cowering in the shadow of the Vatican, he continued to have contemporary speakers come to his church, just not at mass since it was now banned by the Pope himself. He just called these speaking opportunities something else. Cheeky, huh?

If you haven't read it, read it. That is all.

1 comment

  1. Oo, yes! I'm off to order it now! I've been searching for a good book lately and just can't seem to touch on anything that will hold my attention. Can't wait to dive into it this evening!


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