Maud Gonne is part of Irish history: her founding of the Daughters of Ireland, in 1900, was the key that effectively opened the door of twentieth-century politics to Irish women. Still remembered in Ireland for the inspiring public speeches she made on behalf of the suffering—those evicted from their homes in western Ireland, the Treason-Felony prisoners on the Isle of Wright, indeed all those whom she saw as victims of imperialism—she is known, too, within and outside Ireland as the woman W. B. Yeats loved and celebrated in his poems.
In this first book-length study of the role women played in two of the most momentous revolutions of the twentieth century, Tabea Alexa Linhard provides a comparative analysis of works on the Mexican Revolution (circa 1910–1919) and the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). Linhard was inspired by the story of the “Trece Rosas,” about thirteen young women who, after the Spanish Civil War ended with the Nationalists’ victory, were executed. One of the women, Julia Conesa, was particularly influential. In a letter she wrote to her mother a few hours before she faced the firing squad, she said, “Do not allow my name to vanish in history.” Fearless Women in the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War is Linhard’s attempt to respond to Julia’s last request.
Although female figures such as the soldaderas of the Mexican Revolution and the milicianas of the Spanish Civil War are abundant in writings about revolution and war, they are often treated as icons, myths, and symbols, displacing the women’s particular and diverse experiences. Linhard maintains a focus on these women’s stories, which until now—when presented at all—have usually been downplayed in literary canons, official histories, and popular memories. She addresses several existing gaps in studies of the intersections of gender, revolution, and culture in both the Mexican and the Spanish contexts.
The book is grounded in transatlantic studies, an emerging field that bridges disciplinary boundaries between Peninsular studies and Latin American studies. In this case, the connection between the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War is a natural consequence of the disjointed conditions out of which arose the cultural texts in which fearless women appear.
Fearless Women in the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War will be especially valuable to scholars of early twentieth-century Peninsular and Mexican literature and culture. It will also be a useful resource in gender studies and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of revolution, war, and culture.
In many Latin American countries, guerrilla struggle and feminism have been linked in surprising ways. Women were mobilized by the thousands to promote revolutionary agendas that had little to do with increasing gender equality. They ended up creating a uniquely Latin American version of feminism that combined revolutionary goals of economic equality and social justice with typically feminist aims of equality, nonviolence, and reproductive rights.Drawing on more than two hundred interviews with women in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and the Mexican state of Chiapas, Karen Kampwirth tells the story of how the guerrilla wars led to the rise of feminism, why certain women became feminists, and what sorts of feminist movements they built. Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas explores how the violent politics of guerrilla struggle could be related to the peaceful politics of feminism. It considers the gains, losses, and internal conflicts within revolutionary women’s organizations. Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution challenges old assumptions regarding revolutionary movements and the legacy of those movements for the politics of daily life. It will appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience in political science, sociology, anthropology, women’s studies, and Latin American studies as well as to general readers with an interest in international feminism.
Dubbed 'the poster girl of Palestinian militancy', Leila Khaled's image flashed across the world after she hijacked a passenger jet in 1969. The picture of a young, determined looking woman with a checkered scarf, clutching an AK-47, was as era-defining as that of Che Guevara.
In this intimate profile, based on interviews with Khaled and those who know her, Sarah Irving gives us the life-story behind the image. Key moments of Khaled's turbulent life are explored, including the dramatic events of the hijackings, her involvement in the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (a radical element within the PLO), her opposition to the Oslo peace process and her activism today.
Leila Khaled's example gives unique insights into the Palestinian struggle through one remarkable life – from the tension between armed and political struggle, to the decline of the secular left and the rise of Hamas, and the role of women in a largely male movement.
What do women do for revolutions? And what do revolutions do for women? Julie Shayne explores the roles of women in revolutionary struggles and the relationship of these movements to the emergence of feminism. Focusing upon the three very different cases of El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba, Shayne documents the roles of women in armed and unarmed political activities. She argues that women contribute to and participate in revolutionary movements in ways quite distinct from men. Despite the fact that their political contributions tend to be seen as less important than those of their male comrades, the roles that women play are actually quite significant to the expansion of revolutionary movements. Shayne also explains how, given the convergence of political and ideological factors, feminism is often born in the wake of revolutionary movements. As a result, revolutionary feminism is a struggle that addresses larger structures of political and economic inequalities. Based on extensive in-depth interviews with activists in all three countries, The Revolution Question offers new insight into the complex gender relations underlying revolutionary social movements and enables us to re-assess both the ways that women affect political struggle and the ways in which political struggle affects women.
Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico is an empirically rich history of women’s political organizing during a critical stage of regime consolidation. Rebutting the image of Mexican women as conservative and antirevolutionary, Jocelyn Olcott shows women activists challenging prevailing beliefs about the masculine foundations of citizenship. Piecing together material from national and regional archives, popular journalism, and oral histories, Olcott examines how women inhabited the conventionally manly role of citizen by weaving together its quotidian and formal traditions, drawing strategies from local political struggles and competing gender ideologies.
Olcott demonstrates an extraordinary grasp of the complexity of postrevolutionary Mexican politics, exploring the goals and outcomes of women’s organizing in Mexico City and the port city of Acapulco as well as in three rural locations: the southeastern state of Yucatán, the central state of Michoacán, and the northern region of the Comarca Lagunera. Combining the strengths of national and regional approaches, this comparative perspective sets in relief the specificities of citizenship as a lived experience.
Drugs. Sex. Revolutionary violence. From its first pages, Susan Stern's memoir With the Weathermen provides a candid, first-hand look at the radical politics and the social and cultural environment of the New Left during the late 1960s.
The Weathermen--a U.S.-based, revolutionary splinter group of Students for a Democratic Society--advocated the overthrow of the government and capitalism, and toward that end, carried out a campaign of bombings, jailbreaks, and riots throughout the United States. In With the Weathermen Stern traces her involvement with this group, and her transformation from a shy, married graduate student into a go-go dancing, street-fighting "macho mama." In vivid and emotional language, she describes the attractions and difficulties of joining a collective radical group and in maintaining a position within it.
Stern's memoir offers a rich description of the raw and rough social dynamics of this community, from its strict demands to "smash monogamy," to its sometimes enforced orgies, and to the demeaning character assassination that was led by the group's top members. She provides a distinctly personal and female perspective on the destructive social functionality and frequently contradictory attitudes toward gender roles and women's rights within the New Left.
Laura Browder's masterful introduction situates Stern's memoir in its historical context, examines the circumstances of its writing and publication, and describes the book's somewhat controversial reception by the public and critics alike.