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Memoir Monday: Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

It's Memoir Monday and continuing with works inspired and written by women (it is women's history month after all), this week's memoir was My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. For those unfamiliar with Steinem, she is in my opinion one of the most influential women's rights advocates and activists in this country. Not only was she huge in the women's rights movement, she was part of the civil rights movement and I found her memoir riveting and more importantly - a must read for humanity. If you are a human being - you need to read this.

This memoir is different than others that I've read as it was organized more by steam of thought than chronology. Steinem recalls days spent as a child on the road, holed up in her family's car riding wherever her father may go that day. Much of her wanderlust she attributes to her father's nomadic tendencies and fly by night lifestyle. But just as quickly as we are allowed insight to her childhood we're swept off to India on a post college trip and then to the Washington Monument to see Dr. Martin Luther King's speech. As much of her life is spent traveling it is surprising to find that Steinem herself never got a driver's license, preferring to ride in the back seat of a cab or crammed into a seat on a bus. But this is what enabled her to gather the stories she tells and hone her skills as a listener, campaigner and writer. Steinem's skill as a storyteller make her memoir more than a book, but rather a chat with a wise friend who has seen much of the world. Her stories and experiences range from bus rides in India to the White House and everything between. I so greatly appreciated her standpoint on gender equality and civil rights issues - and that she does not force her views on these issues, but rather discusses them in a way that surpasses religious ideology, political influence and rather goes straight for the most basic of human rights.

Throughout I was engrossed with her stories, anecdotes and wisdom. Gloria Steinem's memoir was exactly the kind of thought provoking and moving read that I had hoped it would be and I highly recommend it to everyone as I believe the issues she discusses and her experiences are more relevant today than ever. Please pick up a copy, you won't be sorry.


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