How to harness the euphoric rage of the record-breaking women’s marches? How to make tangible progress, not merely prevent further losses? To answer these riddles requires understanding how we got here, and Marjorie J. Spruill’s Divided We Stand offers a detailed if sometimes dense primer ... The chapters detailing these competing events are the best in Divided We Stand ... These divergent narratives from 40 years ago offer many lessons to those hoping to maintain the momentum of the Jan.?21 women’s marches. Two of the most salient: Forge unity out of diversity and hold elected officials accountable.
The many admirers of Mrs. America who have pondered its factual basis...will find great satisfaction in Spruill’s book. It may not be a page-turner, but it is a clear, compelling and deeply insightful volume ... Spruill’s book leaves one struggling to reconcile Schlafly’s intelligence—Phi Beta Kappa, master’s from Radcliffe, law degree from Washington University—with her talent for demagoguery. In its epilogue, though, Divided We Stand has no doubt about her lasting effect on the Republican Party and the nation as a whole.
Ms. Spruill’s honorable attention to the state meetings can drag her narrative at times, but she still manages to draw out a story crucial to understanding American politics over the past 40 years ... The 2016 election showed that women remain the most divided of identity groups. Some 53% of white female voters were willing to cast their ballots for a man whom feminists despise as a misogynist. And the question raised by the battle of 1977—who speaks for women?—still bedevils American politics.