Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1953. One of the earliest works of modern feminist literature, French writer Beauvoir’s look at the secondary status of women enjoyed renewed popularity during the women’s movement.
Fraser, Antonia. The Weaker Vessel. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984. An intriguing perspective on women’s issues is offered by Fraser’s examination of women’s lives in the seventeenth century. A surprisingly diverse collection of portraits emerges.
French, Marilyn. The War Against Women. New York: Summit Books, 1992. This book offers a historical examination of women’s repression. French explores, from a feminist perspective, the traditional treatment of women socially, politically, economically, and culturally.
Friedan, Betty. It Changed My Life. New York: W. W. Norton, 1985. This collection of Friedan’s writings over three decades provides an overview of the evolution of feminism from the perspective of the woman sometimes referred to as the “mother” of women’s liberation.
Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. New York: W. W. Norton, 1973.
Friedan, Betty. The Second Stage. New York: Summit Books, 1981.
Kauffman, Linda S., ed. American Feminist Thought at Century’s End: A Reader. Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell, 1993. As its title suggests, the book contains a collection of recent writings by feminist leaders and scholars. Its topics range from political activism to women’s sexuality.
Steinem, Gloria. Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1983.
Wolf, Naomi. The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women. New York: William Morrow, 1991. This best-selling book examines the ways in which modern society and popular culture put pressure on women to conform to an unattainable standard of beauty.