Particular Passions

Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times

Women in Law

Bella Abzug -- On Becoming a Lawyer.

Bella AbzugLynn Gilbert1 Comment

"Since there were only a few women lawyers, I knew that it was going to be very rough. I applied to Harvard Law School because I heard it was the best law school. Harvard wrote back and said they didn’t accept women. I was outraged. I always tell this story because it’s so cute about my mother. I turned to my mother and I said, “Can you believe this?” I always say “I turned to my mother,” because in those days there was no women’s movement so you always turned to your mother. Now I always say, my two daughters have the best of both worlds. They’re able to turn to me and the women’s movement at the same time. But anyway, I turned to my mother and said, “This is an outrage.” (I always had a decent sense of outrage.) My mother said, “What do you want to go to Harvard for? It’s far away. You haven’t got the carfare anyhow. Go to Columbia. It’s near home. They’ll probably give you a scholarship and it only costs five cents on the subway.” And I did that. I got a scholarship and it only cost five cents on the subway. I always say that’s when I became an advocate of low-cost public mass transportation." Bella Abzug

The oral biography of Bella Abzug, an outspoken crusader for peace and human rights who heralded in an era of social change.

 

Billie Jean King – The oral biography from her days on the court.

Billie Jean KingLynn GilbertComment

"People don’t change overnight. It doesn’t matter what the law says. You can have a civil rights act, you can make abortion legal, but you still have to deal with what people feel and think. And that’s what it’s all about. You slowly have to persuade people and hope they are reasonable enough to see things in a logical, objective way."

– Billie Jean King, from 'Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped Our Times'.

The oral biography of Billie Jean King, who created opportunities for women on the tennis court and in the workplace, and who continues today to champion social change and equality around the world.

For a limited time, enjoy a this complimentary chapter of Particular Passions, the oral biography of Billie Jean King from her days on the court. Available at Facebook.

Available at Amazon and Apple.

Bella Abzug – On becoming a lawyer

Bella AbzugLynn GilbertComment

"I decided I was going to be a lawyer when I was eleven years old. I can’t tell you that I had a role model of a woman lawyer because I really didn’t. There were some, a few, but I didn’t really know who they were. I made up my mind that you could fight for social justice more effectively as a lawyer and so I became a lawyer. Since there were only a few women lawyers, I knew that it was going to be very rough. I applied to Harvard Law School because I heard it was the best law school. Harvard wrote back and said they didn’t accept women. I was outraged. I always tell this story because it’s so cute about my mother. I turned to my mother and I said, “Can you believe this?” I always say “I turned to my mother,” because in those days there was no women’s movement so you always turned to your mother. Now I always say, my two daughters have the best of both worlds. They’re able to turn to me and the women’s movement at the same time. But anyway, I turned to my mother and said, “This is an outrage.” (I always had a decent sense of outrage.) My mother said, “What do you want to go to Harvard for? It’s far away. You haven’t got the carfare anyhow. Go to Columbia. It’s near home. They’ll probably give you a scholarship and it only costs five cents on the subway.” And I did that. I got a scholarship and it only cost five cents on the subway. I always say that’s when I became an advocate of low-cost public mass transportation.”

– Bella Abzug, from 'Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped Our Times', by Lynn Gilbert.

The oral biography of Bella Abzug, an outspoken crusader for peace and human rights who heralded in an era of social change.

Available for $0.99 at Apple and Amazon.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg - On Working Mothers

Ruth Bader GinsburgLynn GilbertComment

"It wasn’t as hard to go to law school, being married and with a child, as people think. I thought it would be an overwhelming burden and when I became pregnant I began to think I would never earn a law degree. Early on, my father-in-law said to me that if I decided not to go to law school because of this baby, that would be fine. No one would think the less of me for making that decision. But if I really wanted to be a lawyer, having a baby wouldn’t stand in my way. I realized he was absolutely right and I think he gave me sound advice for most things in life. If you want to do something badly enough you find a way, somehow you manage."

— Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Shaped Our Times, by Lynn Gilbert.

Enjoy the oral interview of Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the later 1970s; one of 42 oral interviews captured in Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Shaped Our Times

The oral biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who continues to contribute to civil and women’s rights as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Available at Apple and Amazon.

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader GinsburgLynn GilbertComment
Image by Norman Rockwell

Image by Norman Rockwell

"That a lawyer could do something that was personally satisfying and at the same time work to preserve the values that made this country great was an exciting prospect for me." — Ruth Bader Ginsburg,  Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times.

A brief chapter, the oral biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg whose contributions to civil and women’s rights continue today in the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Available for nook / kindle / ipad at Amazon and Apple for $0.99.

"Tantalizing glimpses into the lives of women who have not only made a living at their own “particular passion,” but have become well known, even world renowned,  for doing work they love." — Christian Science Monitor.

IN CELEBRATION OF WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: BELLA ABZUG, A POWER WHO EMPOWERED WOMEN

Bella AbzugLynn Gilbert1 Comment

Bella nicknamed "Battling Bella", was a lawyer, Congresswoman, social activist and a leader of the Women's Movement. – Wikipedia A powerful orator, Abzug mobilized women:  “I always try to get my message across, but in different ways, with reason:  with emotion and with humor.” — Bella Abzug in “Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times”

Like all great orators she honed her skill although not like Churchill who was known to practice with pebbles in his mouth.

Winston Churchill ©   Yousuf Karsh   [1941]

Winston Churchill © Yousuf Karsh [1941]

Read the moving chapter of a woman of passionate temperament who effected change for women and generations of women to come.

- Amazon  - Apple  A good read and bargain at $.99

One of “Particular Passion’s” numerous reviews:

"A forceful inspiration—a revelation of woman’s courage, spirit, and strength.” — Sey Chassler, Editor in Chief, Redbook.

GLORIA STEINEM'S PIVOTAL ROLE IN THE WOMEN'S RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Gloria SteinemLynn GilbertComment

"What my male colleagues meant by revolution was taking over the army and the radio stations. ...That’s very small potatoes. What we mean by revolution is changing much more than that.... It means changing the way we think, the way we relate to each other." - Gloria Steinem, in Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped our Times.

Over decades few women or men, for that matter, have the fortitude, brains, wit, presence, and ability to continue the fight for a cause, and not be replaced in their role of leadership.

Read Steinem's brief oral biography, Particular Passions: Gloria Steinem, first published 30 years ago and now e-published for all platforms.

It is thrilling to read how much Gloria, with her legions of colleagues and followers has accomplished, and how far our society has come.

Available on Amazon and Apple  --  At $0.99, a bargain.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG - A CHAMPION OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Ruth Bader GinsburgLynn Gilbert1 Comment

“When I graduated from law school in 1959, it was not possible to move legislators or judges toward recognition of a sex-equality principle.” — From the brief chapter and oral biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice, in 'Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times.'

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/7grtcd6     A great read - only $0.99

The book, Particular Passions, profiles forty-six pioneering American women of the 20th Century from the arts and sciences, athletics and law, mathematics and politics, among other disciplines and is available now for all e-reading devices. The first of its kind, Particular Passions identifies the women who had an historic impact on women's rights from the 1920s to the late 1970s. These oral biographies recorded in the 1970s, capture the experience and wisdom of the women who opened doors for all of us.

The progression of the stories echoes the evolution of life for women in America. Published to critical acclaim in 1981, Particular Passions is included in more than 800 academic institutions and government libraries worldwide.

Gerda Lerner was the first person to put “women’s studies” on the map, establishing women’s history as an important part of a university’s curriculum.  I was honored to have her use my book as the core of one of her classes.

An excerpt from the many stellar reviews: "This is a wonderful book... The book is recommended reading for anyone — no matter what political or sociological background—who wants to know more about living history." — Santa Cruz Sentinel

For the complete Particular Passions: Amazon Apple

WOMEN AND THE LAW

Ruth Bader GinsburgLynn GilbertComment
Thetis (personification of divine justice) Rhamnous. 300 BC
Thetis (personification of divine justice) Rhamnous. 300 BC
Raphael's workshop - Fresco completed from sketches after his death 1520
Raphael's workshop - Fresco completed from sketches after his death 1520

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Perception of women in the law has taken centuries to evolve. Thetis, (personification of divine justice), was sculpted by Rhamnous in 300 BC.

Justice, again was represented as a woman in Raphael’s fresco in 1520. It took another 2,300 years for a real woman, Sandra Day O’Connor to be appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981, since its’ inception in 1790, followed by Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993, Sonia Sotomayor in 2009, and Elena Kagan in 2010.

Read a brief chapter of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in "Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times,"  whose contributions to civil and women’s rights continue today in the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court, Amazon or  Apple for only $.99.

Ginsburg looked back on women and the law in Particular Passions and said, “ I started law school in 1956, one of nine women in an entering class of over five hundred.  We wondered why there were only nine, and asked a faculty member. “Is it discrimination?” we inquired. “Certainly not,” he said. “From the large gray middle of the applicant pile we try to take people who have something unusual, something different about them. If you are a bull fiddle player, for example, you would get a plus, and if you’re a woman you would get a plus.”

As one reviewer said of Particular Passions, “One of  those rare, rare books that pick your life up, turn it around and point it in the right direction." — K.T. Maclay.

Available on Amazon  and Apple.

In his auspicious inaugural address today, Obama said  "When times change, so must we." Real action, and the opportunity for equality for all, will follow these inspired words... hopefully.