The University of Wisconsin Press

Women's Studies


Power Trips and Other Journeys
Essays in Feminism as Civic Discourse
Jean Bethke Elshtain

Each chapter of this book treats a particular historical or contemporary topic of civic concern. Some are centered on current family crises and issues (the “family wage,” child abuse, the “new eugenics”) while others look to the wider national and international polity. Yet each, insistently, returns to common themes: the many faces and forms of power; struggles for autonomy; the need for human sociality and community.

Elshtain’s essays on controversial domestic subjects demonstrate her independence of mind, her understanding of politics as the art of the possible, and her openness to debate.

In the last section, related essays on women’s power and powerlessness, on patriotism, and on just war track a movement from domestic politics to foreign affairs. They are cautionary tales which simultaneously express realizable hopes and honor those, like the Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina, who have taught us, through their desperation and triumph, what it means to fashion a politics of hope and justice against a politics of vengeance and despair.

Jean Bethke Elshtain is centennial professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. Among her best-known works are Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social and Political Thought and Women and War.

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November 1994
LC: 90-050083 HQ
220 p
p.   6 x 9
ISBN-10: 0-299-12674-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-12674-2
Paper $14.95 s

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