Gloria Steinem
A Life in American History
by William H. Pruden III
August 2021, 233pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7270-9
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7271-6
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From the moment she appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine in the summer of 1971 under the banner “The New Woman,” Gloria Steinem has been seen as the face of the modern women’s movement.

This book details the life and activism of Gloria Steinem, using her life as a lens through which readers can examine the evolution of women's rights in the United States over the past half-century.

This work traces the life and career of feminist activist Gloria Steinem, providing an examination of her life and her efforts to further equal opportunity among all people, especially women, in the United States from the second half of the 20th century to the present. It follows Steinem in a primarily chronological fashion to best convey the impact of her own efforts as well as the changing nature of women’s status in American society during Steinem’s half-century as an active reformer and public figure. The book notably includes her work with Ms. Magazine and details of her personal life.

This book’s wider coverage of Steinem’s life, from her early childhood to the present, adds to previous works, which tend to stop with the end of the heyday of the women’s movement and the rise of the Conservative movement in the early 1980s. With one of the defining aspects of Steinem’s work being her lifelong commitment to women’s rights and human equality, the treatment of her whole life helps readers understand the full extent of both her commitment and impact.


  • More than just a biography, this book presents a life that is at once an engine for the change Gloria Steinem sought to achieve and an example and inspiration for future activists
  • The text offers lessons from the past as guidance for the future
  • 20 sidebars provide intriguing details about Steinem's life and accomplishments
  • Five primary source documents give readers a sense of Steinem's powerful voice and her ability to speak truth to power
William H. Pruden is director of civic engagement and instructor in history and social studies at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC. He has made substantive contributions to numerous ABC-CLIO reference works including, Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection, Presidents and Presidencies in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection; Technical Innovation in American History: An Encyclopedia of Science and Technology; Political Groups, Parties, and Organizations That Shaped America; Shaping North America: From Exploration to the Revolution; Race and Ethnicity in America: From Pre-contact to the Present; and The World of Jim Crow America: A Daily Life Encyclopedia.

Women Making History

Women Making History is a series of single volume books that examine the lives and historical impact of the most iconic figures in American Women’s history.

Books in the Women Making History series explore the lives and contributions of important women in American history. Each volume goes beyond biographical details to consider historical context and explicitly discuss the world in which the individual lived and worked, the challenges she faced, and her lasting contributions. This approach allows readers to explore not just the life of a particular woman but also her various political, social, cultural, and historical contexts. In addition to chronological chapters, sidebars, a timeline, document excerpts, and a bibliography, an introductory chapter explores the cultural and historical significance of the individual and places her in the overall historical context, as well as how her actions, beliefs, or positions influenced not only women’s history, but history as a whole.


Each title in the series includes:
    • Series foreword
    • Preface
    • Chronological biographical chapters with sidebars
    • Supplemental chapter that explores "Why the Person Matters"
    • Timeline
    • Primary source documents
    • Bibliography
    • About the author
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