My Life On The Road
Author: Gloria Steinem
Genre: Non Fiction, Feminism, Memoir
Originally Published: 29th October 2015
Format: Kindle (200 pages)
Synopsis: Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. Every fall, her father would pack the family into the car and they would drive across the country, in search of their next adventure. The seeds were planted: Steinem would spend much of her life on the road, as a journalist, organizer, activist, and speaker. In vivid stories that span an entire career, Steinem writes about her time on the campaign trail, from Bobby Kennedy to Hillary Clinton; her early exposure to social activism in India; organizing ground-up movements in America; the taxi drivers who were “vectors of modern myths” and the airline stewardesses who embraced feminism; and the infinite contrasts, the “surrealism in everyday life” that Steinem encountered as she travelled back and forth across the country. With the unique perspective of one of the greatest feminist icons of the 20th and 21st centuries, here is an inspiring, profound, enlightening memoir of one woman’s life-long journey.
My Rating: ★★★★
I decided to read this after seeing that Emma Watson had set it as the first read for her feminist book club on Goodreads. Once I started, I was quickly absorbed into Gloria’s world. This lady is such an inspiration and I feel honoured that she has given us such a unique glimpse into her life on the road.
This was a great read with a range of interesting stories from Gloria’s time spent on the road. From stories of her childhood and life on the road with her father to stories of Gloria’s many friendships made on the road while she campaigned for women’s rights, this book is full of stories that everyone will find charming and touching. These kind of books are normally chronological but this one isn’t, making it seem a little chaotic. However, I grew to love this aspect of the book as it ended up feeling like I was sitting down with a friend and sharing memories.
What did I love most about the book?
My favourite chapter of the book was definitely where Gloria talked of her many encounters with taxi drivers over the years. I thought all of the stories were charming little excerpts from her past and truly reflected the depth and variety of human character. We have all sat in the back of a taxi at some point and been treated to anecdotes from the driver, but Gloria made me realise how much these stories have to offer to the world.
“Also, one of the simplest paths to deep change is for the less powerful to speak as much as they listen, and for the more powerful to listen as much as they speak.”
“You’re always the person you were when you were born,” she says impatiently. “You just keep finding new ways to express it.”
“You should write about take no-shit women like me. Girls need to know they can break the rules.”
“Sometimes I think the only real division into two is between people who divide everything into two and those who don’t.”
This book was a real eye opener at times. As someone who is very aware of the feminist movement, I absolutely loved reading about her experiences. The world is a better place thanks to the likes of Gloria Steinem and I am thankful to her for writing this book and sharing so much of her world with us. She is really an inspiration.
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