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  • July 16

My Life on the Road: Book Review

Kylie Mandeville, Managing Editor

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In the wake of the women’s marches all over the country and the world, there is no more important book to read. Gloria Steinem chronicles her travels across the country as an organizer and advocate for women’s rights. Beginning with her nomadic childhood, her father selling antiques to pay for their fuel forward. This need to wander had never left her and she continued on her quest to help people by listening to their stories.
Her never-ending involvement in political organizations and campaigns is what has kept her occupied with traveling for so many years. She began speaking at college campuses during the Vietnam War when many were protesting the war and it’s draft. Steinem says she “can bring up problems and possibilities that students want brought up. [She] can also carry ideas from one campus to the next, in the bee-and-flower model of organizing.” She is aware of the serious politics taking place on campuses and supports them in any way she can. Not only has she spoken at campuses on the behalf of her organizations, but she has campaigned for specific candidates across the country. Steinem has done everything from stuffing envelopes and phone-banking to speaking at “marches in Washington of more than a million people.” She has enjoyed every step in this process of influence and is truly inspiring to any aspiring advocate. She was integral in the founding of the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) which supports women running for office. Through this she helped Shirley Chisholm (the first African-American congresswoman) get elected. In 2008, she campaigned with Hillary Clinton and then again this past election cycle. Independent of any organization, she has rode cross-country with other activists and held meetings in the libraries, schools, barbecues, and concerts of various swing states to discuss issues and candidates. She is now 82 years old and spoke at the Women’s March on Washington this past month.
Gloria Steinem’s dedication to the women’s rights movement is exemplified through her storytelling. Though this book may be somewhat disorganized in it’s jump from decade to decade, it only helps emphasize the magnitude of her influence on huge chunks of history. She has so many things to tell us spanning the 1960s to now. By granting us insight into the ways she has prompted change, we too are given the power to act. This book can inspire anyone to be an advocate as she has been for her whole life. In our world today it is so important to fight for what we believe in and no one has worked harder for it than Gloria Steinem. I know that by reading this you too will be infused with both wanderlust and a powerful drive for change.

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My Life on the Road: Book Review