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Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem [Paperback]

Gloria Steinem
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 20 1993
The well-know women's rights activist and feminist connects the external revolution to an internal revolution of spirit and consciousness, offering readers parables from the lives of figures as diverse as Mahatma Gandhi and Julie Andrews. Reprint. 150,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo.

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From Library Journal

One of the founding mothers of contemporary feminism has written a self-help book that utterly transcends the genre. In lucid prose that is by turns brave and funny and tender, Steinem takes us on a journey of circles and spirals because, as she says, "If we think of ourselves as circles, our goal is completion . . . if we think of work structures as circles . . . progress means mutual support and connectedness." Drawing from sources that range from Margaret Mead to Chief Seattle (Sealth), from Alice Walker to the Upanishads, as well as from her own life and the lives of her friends and colleagues, she provides a series of pathways to self-esteem. Steinem's book unfolds like a flower: it offers literature, art, nature, meditation, and connectedness as ways of finding and exploring the self. Her message is that it is our very selves that we need to trust, despite educational and societal pressures that may denigrate the female experience. Her focus is women, but she is clear that what she has to say is for men, too, and she is neither strident nor dismissive. Recommended for all collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/91.
- GraceAnne A. DeCandido, "School Library Journal"
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

In the wake of such feminist calls-to-arms as Susan Faludi's Backlash (p. 1133), Paula Kamen's Feminist Fatale (p. 1137), and Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth (p. 389), Steinem's inwardly turned examination of how men and women sabotage themselves by suppressing the ``child within'' appears decidedly retro. Nevertheless, her reflections on her own and others' spiritual struggles may give a new generation of activists pause for further reflection. In the wake of Ms. magazine's sale and her own resignation as its editor, Steinem found herself, she says, with the time and inspiration to write a book she'd had in mind for years--a study of the psychological and societal factors that negatively influence self-esteem. The result, she tells us, was a heavily footnoted, scholarly report whose reliance on experts' opinions revealed Steinem's own deep lack of confidence, and inspired her to toss away her original manuscript and come out of the closet herself. Recounting her own early life as the daughter of a factory worker who divorced his mentally ill wife when Gloria was only ten, Steinem details the natural progression from a co-dependent relationship with her mother to an unconscious adult sense of being ``co-dependent with the world.'' Forced by her need to wall off her past, she led a life of outer-world confrontations until, through therapy undertaken as research for her book, she began to master her ``inner child.'' By including others' tales of self- actualization through a ``revolution from within''--the creation of a winning chess team in Spanish Harlem, the transformation of a housewife into an entrepreneur, etc.--Steinem illustrates how others' psychic journeys may lead in much different directions than her own. Still, much of what is recommended here will strike many as old hat--and, in the end, more interesting as an update on the feminist's life than as a practical aid to others. A piquant counterpoint to recently revitalized, outer-directed feminist fashion. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
As I write this, I'm still the same person who grew up mostly in a Midwestern, factory-working neighborhood where talk about "self-esteem" would have seemed like a luxury. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Points but Too Centered on Women Jan. 22 2013
By Debra Purdy Kong TOP 500 REVIEWER
As you would expect, a book on self-esteem is likely to cover a lot of ground. After all, this is a huge topic, but Gloria Steinem manages to pare it down into seven insightful chapters, covering everything from unhappy childhoods, to the importance of un-learning and relearning, to our bodies, romance, and more spiritual and universal issues such as connecting to nature and animals to help self-esteem.

Filled with references to interesting studies and individual stories to demonstrate points, the book is vintage Steinem. Some of the studies, however, began to feel familiar. I read Steinem's Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions a few years ago, and I'm sure that some of this material was covered in the earlier book. On the other hand, self-esteem issues in domineering patriarchal societies is likely to cause some overlap.

For me, the book's flaw is Steinem's claim that it's for men and women. Obviously, millions of men have self-esteem issues that keep them from living full, rich lives, however, the book seemed so focused on women's challenges that the men seemed to be forgotten. Sure, there were some stories about men's experiences and studies about boys and girls, however most are centered on women's experiences and obstacles, which is a shame. If there were more studies/stories and more discussion about men's challenges, the book would have lived up to the author's claim. Also, when you slap a picture of a smiling Gloria Steinem on the cover, browsers will assume this a feminist book, which makes me wonder if the publisher was seriously interested in reaching the male market at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a treasure Jan. 16 2004
By A Customer
I have read many many books, and I have to say that this is one of my absolute favorites. This is a book of the highest quality. Don't be fooled from the title, this is not a sappy how to love yourself book. This is a straight forward, intense account of the world around us as we know it. Yet in a way, that I believe only Gloria Steinem could tell it. She is at once brilliant, insightful, comforting, and angering. Her book made me see life through new eyes, better eyes. Steinem's book is also so obviously well researched, in fact startling facts and statistics reside on every page. If you want to feel passion and rightous anger in your soul, or if you want to read a book that will open your eyes, read this one. Books of this caliber really do not come around that often.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The political is personal... and likewise July 15 2003
Like a beacon of light, this book provided me with the inspiration slowly draining from my activism. So often, as a woman, I feel I must concentrate on the characteristics of myself that are celebrated by this patriarchal society to be taken seriously. I really needed a feminist voice to remind me of the freedom of self that is the goal of social equality.
As always, Steinem's writing is full of qualified sources and she never speaks down to the reader, although it is still a relatively easy read. Written with a sense of humor and love of life, it provided refreshing hope for the future.
I cannot communicate in words what this book means to me. The hope that individual change can lead in the social revolution is so simple but the idea is life-changing and life-affirming. This is for everyone who is feeling a little dissillusioned and questioning their purpose in life or their power over/in their life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is A Must Read Nov. 11 2002
I have read this book and then handed it on to all of the people in my life. In fact, if I had enough money, I would buy a copy of this book for everybody that I know. This perfectly explains why I am a feminist and why I will not stop the fight. Steinem is an amazingly intelligent woman who teaches the reader a lot about life. This book will definitely benifit anyone who wants to learn about history, life, women, equality and inequality...Please, do yourself a favor and read this book. I thoroughly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deepest Revolution Oct. 21 2001
Over the past forty years, Gloria Steinem has been on the forefront of a historical, life-giving revolution: modern feminism. She has accomplished herself as both an activist and a writer, making her name commonplace in household discussion. She has dedicated her life to giving women a voice in politics where they otherwise would have had no voice; she is greatly admired and revered by men and women alike. As one of the most influential women of the last century, she has worked hard to topple the prejudice of our patriarchal society -- and only now as we enter the twenty-first century are we finally beginning to see it come crashing down as women become more enlightened and empowered. Steinem has penned her favorite memoirs from these past forty years in a book called "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions," which focuses primarily on feminism's global revolution. In "Revolution From Within," however, Steinem turns the tables: before someone can become completely engaged in a political revolution, they must first complete a miniature revolution within themselves, a revolution just as important as any other. Perhaps this revolution is even more important because it directly influences the way we view ourselves, and in turn, the level of happiness in our life.
There were many times in recent history when minorities were raised to feel ashamed of who they were. Not more than 50 years ago, African Americans were still raised to feel inferior to Caucasians. Not more than 30 years ago, women were raised feeling inferior to men. And at this very moment, gays and lesbians secretly growing up in homophobic households believe that they are worthless simply because they were born with a different sexual orientation.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-read self-help book!
Gloria Steinem's authentic and genuine conversation with her readers allows for a clear portrayal of the numerous factors affecting one's self-esteem. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2011 by Loreley
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
This book addresses the problem of self-esteem in general, but it is particularly suited for women. While every woman will not agree with all of Gloria Steinem's views, this book... Read more
Published on June 6 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe the Hype
Perhaps it was merely the same old game of mass media trivializing an important cultural development, but the so-called "recovery" movement that reached its peak in the... Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2000 by Gordon Hilgers
3.0 out of 5 stars I really really want to give this a higher rating ...
... but I just *can't* do it.
Most of the book, I loved, orat least enjoyed.
However, there's a problem with it. Read more
Published on July 16 2000 by A.J. Chodan
5.0 out of 5 stars LASTING IMPACT
I read this book several years ago and still refer to mattersamong its pages. It is not shocking to see that some [people still] "don't get it. Read more
Published on June 17 2000 by Long Island, East, member
2.0 out of 5 stars A BOOK OF SELF-ESTEEM?
This book is Ms. Steinem's psychological autobiography. She certainly is a very intelligent and independent thinker but certain things, it seems, remain impossible for her to... Read more
Published on Aug. 25 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars Trite Psychobabble
Over a period of decades sociologists have noticed an interesting trend: people who win Nobel Prizes, run large corporations, championship athletes, etc. Read more
Published on June 13 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest exploration of Self--not just for feminists!!
Gloria Steinem has given us a wonderful opportunity to see her as far more than just a feminist, political activist, and one of the most influental women of the 20th century. Read more
Published on April 9 1999
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