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Lucy Sprague Mitchell
  • Sep 10, 1989
    436 p., 6 1/8 x 9 1/4

    ISBN: 9780300041767
  • Paper: $22.50 
Biography
History


Lucy Sprague Mitchell

The Making of a Modern Woman

  • Joyce Antler
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Reviews

"Lucy Sprague Mitchell, a pioneering modern woman, wanted it all — liberation from a Victorian background, marriage, motherhood, career, professional recognition — and achieved it all. The story of her life is part of the history of the U.S. in the last third of the nineteenth century and the first two thirds of the twentieth. It is also part of the history of childhood education. And more, it is romance, the story of her marriage to one of the most distinguished economists of the times. Fortunate in many ways, Lucy Sprague Mitchell was also fortunate in her biographer, who gives us not only a scholarly study but also an absorbing reading experience."—Jessie Bernard                        

"A major achievement. Antler takes the life of an important progressive reformer and educator and shows how her personal life as wife and mother both influenced and interfered with her professional life. This fascinating and well-written biography sets a new standard for those interested in feminism, reform, and women's lives."—Allen F. Davis

"This is the best kind of biography: one that not only brings a person to life but illuminates the possibilities of that person's time, place, and generation."—Nancy Cott

"The story of Mitchell's life is part of the history of the U.S. and part of the history of childhood education. This book is not only a scholarly study but also an absorbing reading experience."—Jessie Bernard

"The life of Lucy Sprague Mitchell illuminates so many things about twentieth century American life as well as about the inwardness of early dual career marriages that social historians, historians of women, and students of early childhood education will all find this book illuminating."—Anne Firor Scott, W. K. Boyd Professor of History at Duke University

"A solid, scholarly work. . . . It offers valuable documentation of a neglected field. . . . Looking at her life, her challenges, and her choices deepens our understanding of what it means to be a woman. And what it means to be a fully realized person."—Ruth Wales, Christian Science Monitor

"Antler does a fine job of highlighting issues and incidents that illuminate the larger questions facing a woman who would succeed both in the world and in her own home."—Beryl Lieff Benderly, Washington Post Book World

"[A] well-researched, highly readable biography."—Library Journal

"Compelling. . . . Lucy Sprague Mitchell's valiant attempt to have a marriage, family and career is what makes her modern and interesting to general readers, many of whom are facing the same problems. This biography succeeds precisely because it lets us peer inside another woman's life and come away with a more somber assessment of our own."—Ellen Chesler, New York Times Book Review

"A detailed portrait of a remarkable woman."—Choice

"This sensitive, absorbing biography traces Lucy Sprague Mitchell's development as a seeker of both personal and professional identity, and shows how she managed to integrate the two in her life. . . . Lucy Sprague Mitchell is fortunate in her biographer, for Joyce Antler has created an illuminating model for observers and interpreters of modern women."—Barbara Miller Solomon, Nation

"Expands the boundaries of traditional biography, while offering the reader a conceptual framework, 'life-process feminism,' for better understanding twentieth-century American women's lives. . . . A fascinating description of an intelligent, extraordinarily self-aware woman's encounter with gendered higher education. . . . Timely and compelling."—Regina Morantz-Sanchez, Women's Review of Books

"Joyce Antler writes elegantly, tellingly. . . . Anyone interested in equal opportunities will find this book a rewarding read."—Norman Evans, Times Educational Supplement

"Joyce Antler tells the story of this exceptional woman with affection and insight."—American School Board Journal

"[A] beautifully written, solidly researched, and perceptive biography. . . . Through one woman's educational biography, Joyce Antler has skillfully linked the history of progressive education and progressive reform with women's history. . . . The best biography to date of a twentieth-century American woman."—Lynn D. Gordon, History of Education Quarterly

"Antler's biography makes a real contribution to both the history of women and the history of American education."—Ruth Bordin, American Historical Review

"One of Antler's accomplishments is that this vivid, highly readable biography is also a solid history of Bank Street College." —William Ayers, Teachers College Record

"Antler vividly reconstructs Mitchell's personal and professional growth. . . . Antler provides fascinating insights into Mitchell's maturation and professional life."—William J. Reese, Journal of American History

"Deserves high points for both the quality of her research and the manner in which she weaves the life of Lucy Mitchell into the larger framework of the surrounding society."—Anne M. Butler, The Historian

"[An] excellent biography. . . . Antler's analysis is thoughtful. . . . Joyce Antler made me curious about her subject's books."—Evelyn Haller, Biography

"Ever since I read Two Lives many years ago I have hoped for someone to write the book that Joyce Antler has now written. The life of Lucy Sprague Mitchell illuminates so many things about twentieth century American life as well as about the inwardness of early dual career marriages that social historians, historians of women, students of early childhood education will all find this book illuminating."—Anne Firor Scott, W.K. Boyd Professor of History at Duke University

"[A] thoroughly researched and gracefully presented history. What emerges is a human life in the round:  brilliant and eclectic, but flawed. The issues Mitchell struggled with in balancing her personal and professional lives have not been solved in the intervening years; they still have immediacy and meaning to the woman of today."—Harvard Educational Review

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