Synopses & Reviews
It was the 1960sandndash;andndash;a time of economic boom and social strife. Young women poured into the workplace, but the andldquo;Help Wantedandrdquo; ads were segregated by gender and the andldquo;Mad Menandrdquo; office culture was rife with sexual stereotyping and discrimination.
Lynn Povich was one of the lucky ones, landing a job at Newsweek, renowned for its cutting-edge coverage of civil rights and the andldquo;Swinging Sixties.andrdquo; Nora Ephron, Jane Bryant Quinn, Ellen Goodman, and Susan Brownmiller all started there as well. It was a top-notch jobandndash;andndash;for a girlandndash;andndash;at an exciting place.
But it was a dead end. Women researchers sometimes became reporters, rarely writers, and never editors. Any aspiring female journalist was told, andldquo;If you want to be a writer, go somewhere else.andrdquo;
On March 16, 1970, the day Newsweek published a cover story on the fledgling feminist movement entitled andldquo;Women in Revolt,andrdquo; forty-six Newsweek women charged the magazine with discrimination in hiring and promotion.and#160; It was the first female class action lawsuitandndash;andndash;the first by women journalistsandndash;andndash;and it inspired other women in the media to quickly follow suit.
Lynn Povich was one of the ringleaders. In The Good Girls Revolt, she evocatively tells the story of this dramatic turning point through the lives of several participants. With warmth, humor, and perspective, she shows how personal experiences and cultural shifts led a group of well-mannered, largely apolitical women, raised in the 1940s and 1950s, to challenge their bossesandndash;andndash;and what happened after they did. For many, filing the suit was a radicalizing act that empowered them to andldquo;find themselvesandrdquo; and fight back. Others lost their way amid opportunities, pressures, discouragements, and hostilities they werenandrsquo;t prepared to navigate.and#160;and#160;
The Good Girls Revolt also explores why changes in the law didnandrsquo;t solve everything. Through the lives of young female journalists at Newsweek today, Lynn Povich shows what hasandndash;andndash;and hasnandrsquo;tandndash;andndash;changed in the workplace.
"Feminist history at its best, Povich evokes, with clear-eyed affection and a keen sense of history the heady atmosphere of 'Swinging Sixties'-era Newsweek: a real-life Mad Men with a social conscience and sense of mission. In 1970, when Newsweek's editors, who prided themselves on their progressive views (pro civil rights, anti Vietnam War), determined that the women's movement merited a cover story, it didn't occur to them that Newsweek's caste system, which relegated women to dead-end jobs as researchers. was a civil rights violation. An unpleasant surprise awaited them when, on June 16, 1970 the same day Newsweek's 'Women in Revolt' issue hit the newsstands 46 female Newsweek employees, Povich among them, filed an EEOC complaint charging Newsweek with systematic discrimination in hiring and promotion. The transformation of Povich who subsequently became Newsweek's first female senior editor and her colleagues from polite, deferential girls to women of courage forms the heart of this lively, engaging book. Their successful lawsuit paved the way for similar suits at the New York Times, NBC, and others, expanding opportunities for women journalists while underscoring how attitudes are often more resistant to change than laws. Forty years later, women are discovering for themselves that the fight for equal rights is not over. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
andquot;The Good Girls Revolt is as compelling as any novel, and also an accurate, intimate history of new women journalists invading the male journalistic world of the 1970s. Lynn Povich turns this epic revolt into a lesson on why and how we've just begun.andquot;
Jeannette Wallsandldquo;A meticulously reported and highly readable account of a pivotal time in the womenandrsquo;s movement.andrdquo;and#160;Kirkusandldquo;Povichandrsquo;s in-depth research, narrative skills and eyewitness observations provide an entertaining and edifying look at a pivotal event in womenandrsquo;s history.andrdquo;
New York Times
andldquo;The personal and the political are deftly interwoven in the fast-moving narrativeandhellip;. The Good Girls Revolt has many timely lessons for working women who are concerned about discrimination todayandhellip;.But this sparkling, informative book may help move these goals a tiny bit closer.andrdquo;
Boston Globeandldquo;Solidly researched and should interest readers who care about feminist history and how gender issues play out in the culture.andrdquo;
Macleansandldquo;Povichandrsquo;s memoir of the tortuous, landmark battle that paved the way for a generation of female writers and editors is illuminating in its details [and] casts valuable perspective on a trail-blazing case that shouldnandrsquo;t be forgotten.andrdquo;
American Journalism Reviewandldquo;[Povich] strikes a fair tone, neither naandiuml;ve nor sanctimonious.... Among her achievements is a complex portrait of Newsweek Editor Osborn Elliott and his path from defensive adversary to understanding ally.andrdquo;
Liesl Schillinger, New York Times
andldquo;Women still have a long way to go, the journalist Lynn Povich rousingly reminds readers in The Good Girls Revolt, her fascinating (and long overdue) history of the class-action lawsuit undertaken by four dozen female researchers and underlings at Newsweek magazine four decades agoandhellip;. If ever a book could remind women to keep their white gloves off and to keep fighting the good fight, this is the one.andrdquo;
Washingtonianandldquo;Crisp, revealingandhellip;. [A] taut, firsthand account of how a group of razor-sharp, courageous women successfully fought back against institutional sexism at one of the countryandrsquo;s most esteemed publications.andrdquo;
andldquo;With vivid recollections of the author and major and minor participants, Povich, a party to the suit, succeeds in making recent history enraging, poignant, and even sexy.andrdquo;
The untold story of an uprising that transformed the Mad Men office culture: its bittersweet impact on the women involved, and what hasandmdash;and hasn'tandmdash;changed
On March 16, 1970, Newsweek magazine hit newsstands with a cover story on the fledgling feminist movement entitled "Women in Revolt." That same day, 46 Newsweek women, Lynn Povich among them, announced they'd filed an EEOC complaint charging their employer with "systematic discrimination" against them in hiring and promotion.
In The Good Girls Revolt, Povich evocatively tells the story of this dramatic turning point through the lives of several participants, showing how personal experiences and cultural shifts led a group of well-mannered, largely apolitical women, raised in the 1940s and 1950s, to stand up for their rights—and what happened after they did. For many, filing the suit was a radicalizing act that empowered them to "find themselves" and stake a claim. Others lost their way in a landscape of opportunities, pressures, discouragements, and hostilities they weren't prepared to navigate.
With warmth, humor, and perspective, the book also explores why changes in the law did not change everything for today's young women.
About the Author
is an award-winning journalist who has spent more than 40 years in the news business. She began her career at Newsweek
as a secretary. In 1970, she was one of 46 women who sued Newsweek
for sex discrimination. Five years later, Povich was appointed the first woman Senior Editor in the magazines history. Povich left Newsweek
in 1991 to become Editor-in-Chief of Working Woman
magazine, the only national business magazine for women. She joined MSNBC.Com in 1996 to help launch the 24-hour news and information cable/internet venture, overseeing the web content of NBC News as well as MSNBC Cable.
Povich has received numerous honors, including a 1976 Matrix Award from Women in Communications for Exceptional Achievement in Magazines. In 2005, she edited a book on her father, famed Washington Post sports columnist Shirley Povich, called All Those Mornings
At the Post. A native of Washington, D.C., Povich graduated from Vassar College, where she served as Executive-in-Residence in 1996. She is married to Stephen B. Shepard, former Editor-in-Chief of Business Week and Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism of the City University of New York. They have two children
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Prologue: Why do I need feminism?” or What Goes Around, Comes Around
Chapter 1: Editors File Story: Girls File Complaint
Chapter 2: A News Magazine Tradition
Chapter 3: The Hot Book”
Chapter 4: Ring Leaders
Chapter 5: You Gotta Take Off Your White Gloves, Ladies”
Chapter 6: Negotiating an Agreement
Chapter 7: Mad Men: The Boys Fight Back
Chapter 8: The Steel Magnolia
Chapter 9: JoeSurrender”
Chapter 10: The Barricades Fell
Epilogue: Where They Are Now