brunaalcaiderodrigues's review

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informative reflective fast-paced

4.0

sarasreadingnook's review against another edition

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4.0

Review to come!

amebarre's review against another edition

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challenging emotional informative sad medium-paced

4.25

thecolourblue's review

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informative slow-paced

3.25

French's Eve to Dawn series is impressive purely by fact of its scope. There might be better books about gender and specific periods of history out there, but French's epic and global scale is impressive, even if it leads to drawing some conclusions across cultural lines or from ancient times that might not stand up to closer scrutiny, or which erase the nuance of a closer lens. 

kikiandarrowsfishshelf's review against another edition

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4.0


This first volume in the four volume work covers pre-recorded history as well as ancient civilizations - Greece, Rome, South America, and Sumer. Because of this some of what French writes is guesswork or conjunction – we cannot know how unhappy or miserable a marriage in ancient Greece was for instance; and how much is a some number versus a few number. But these are quibbles, and when French uses guess work it is obvious. What is important is that the history book does balance the more male focus history as well as shows how the groundwork for some the current gender issues -such as male preference. That is something which is truly horrifying.
The tone is easy to read and follow. And if you are worried that is nothing but male bashing – don’t. It might be established government bashing and patriarchy bashing. – Not male bashing. In fact, in some cases it is actually sympathetic to men.

drinaiscold's review against another edition

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challenging informative inspiring reflective slow-paced

5.0

The sociological themes that French is able to link together are fascinating. Volume 1 focuses primarily on the development of society, moving later onto more recognizable historical events, but you can see so much of modern attitudes towards women and their place in society in how she describes the past. I consider myself a pretty average consumer, in terms of literature. I have no special training in history, sociology, literature, etc. Outside of being a self aware female, I have no strong education in feminism (only a strong interest) so I will say this: to an interested reader, this book is comprehensive, entertaining, and well written. Its insights make you think and French makes you want to learn more about these women.

alpho's review

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3.0

You know, I hate to end a series like this on a negative note, but Jesus did the last book drag. Not entirely the book’s fault, I don’t think, I also got involved in other things that left me less brain space for a book like this, and the confluence of this and political realities both sold this book to me more and made it harder to read. But to be quite honest, I think the last book is the weakest.

Overall about as good a comprehensive feminist history as is likely to be written in my lifetime. It has the flaws of anything that attempts to cover a topic that is as enormous as the history of women’s oppression and their fight against it from as early as there are sources to the modern era: it’s such a big picture that no one could ever cover it justly. But the attempt is still illuminating and persuasive.
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