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Eleanor Rathbone
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Eleanor Rathbone


April 1996 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book provides an accessible introduction to the life, times and work, and in particular, the ideas of Eleanor Rathbone. She was a prominent figure in British politics, both as a suffragette and as a member of parliament, but is best known as the leading proponent for the introduction of family allowances. This text outlines and explores the development of Eleanor Rathbone's ideas, which are presented in the political and intellectual context in which she wrote--a period of major change for women. Beginning with a survey of Eleanor Rathbone's personal and ideological heritage, the book explains her move from philanthropy to political action; her ideas on suffrage; and her changing ideas on whether feminists should focus on equality or difference. The book also considers the impetus behind her entry into parliament; the way she expressed and shaped her ideas within a parliamentary setting, and finally her involvement in India affairs. This intriguing volume is essential reading for students and academics of women's studies, sociology, social policy and history; it is also a highly readable book for the general reader interested in the life and ideas of a major feminist thinker.

 
Introduction
 
Heritage
 
The Public and the Private, 1909-19
 
Equality and Difference, 1912-29
 
Taking the Path to Power, 1924-
 
Speaking Truth to Power, 1929-39
 
The Indian Minotaur, 1927-41
 
A Passionate Patriot Fighting Fascism, 1930-45
 
Conclusion
 
Bibliography

`Alberti utilizes Rathbone's life and work to elucidate major historical debates concerning conflicting notions of feminism, British feminist involvement in maintaining colonial hegemony, and the relationship between women and patriotism' - Journal of Women's History

`Alberti's closing sentence is worth quoting: "As we move into the future, her tireless determination and her faith in the contribution which women can make to society are a welcome antidote to the discourses of cynicism and despair". I can't argue with that. Bravo to Eleanor Rathbone and to the accomplished interpreter of her ideas, Johanna Alberti!' - Women's Philosophy Review

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