Category Archives: GLBT memoir and/or biography

“All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson” by Mark Griffin— Remembering Rock

Griffin, Mark. “All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson”, Harper, 2018.

Remembering Rock

Amos Lassen

It took a while but we finally have what is considered to be “the definitive biography of the deeply complex and widely misunderstood matinee idol of Hollywood’s Golden Age.” He was quite a man— beautifully handsome, broad, clean-cut. He was what represented the movies back then and we loved him. He was the “embodiment of romantic masculinity in American film” in the ‘50s and ‘60s”.

He was a fine actor and an Academy Award-nominated leading man. performances Hudson won acclaim for his performances in glossy melodramas like “Magnificent Obsession”, westerns like “Giant” and romantic comedies like “Pillow Talk”. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Hudson successfully moved to television and starred in the long-running series “McMillan & Wife” and had a recurring role on “Dynasty” and through them he met a whole new audience and generation. 

And it was onto only audiences who loved him; his colleagues did so as well. However that outward appearance hid his insecurities and conflicts. He grew up poor in Winnetka, Illinois, and was abandoned by his biological father, abused by an alcoholic stepfather, and controlled by his domineering mother. Even with obstacles that seemed to be insurmountable, Hudson was determined to become an actor at all costs. After signing with the powerful but predatory agent Henry Willson, he was transformed into “Universal Studio’s resident Adonis”. It was a different time back then—America was very conservative and the Hudson we saw on the screen was not the Hudson who was a closeted homosexual. Because of this and the fact that it is hard to keep secrets in Hollywood, Hudson was continually threatened with public exposure, not only by scandal sheets like “Confidential Magazine” but by a number of his own partners. For years, he dodged questions concerning his private life, but in 1985 the public learned that the actor was battling AIDS. Learning that such such a revered public figure had contracted the illness, the world became aware of the epidemic.

I have no own Rock Hudson story. When I lived in Israel, there were really no places for gay men to meet except for public parks. Hudson was in Tel Aviv preparing to film his last movie, “The Ambassador”. I came into the park and saw this very handsome man sitting on a bench and he looked very familiar to me. I am a shy guy so I did not approach him but waited till someone else did. This other person right away identified him and I realized who I was sitting close to. He was already sick by this time and while I would have loved something more intimate that an afternoon of coffee and chat, it was what I had. I suppose he felt that since the news about his sexuality was already out there that he could be who he was and go to the park. It was my luck to be there at the same time and Tel Aviv at that time having been a small and close gay community, everyone knew that I had spent the afternoon with the American movie star. (My mother could not wait to share this with her Mah Jong ladies.

Mark Griffin’s book draws on more than 100 interviews with co-stars, family members and former companions. “All That Heaven Allows” gives us a complete and nuanced portrait of one of the most fascinating stars in cinema history.

We get new details concerning Hudson’s troubled relationships with wife Phyllis Gates and boyfriend Marc Christian. For the first time there is an in-depth exploration of Hudson’s classic films. Griffin had unprecedented access to private journals, personal correspondence, and production files and he shares with us the idol whose life and death had a lasting impact on American culture.

This is more than just a book about one of the most determined and hard-working movie stars in the history of Hollywood, it is an in-depth look at America in the second half of the 20th Century.  Griffin did tremendous research and he brings together the American dream with tragedy. tragedy.  He reconstructs the charade that Hudson had to live because of his double life. The book shares  Hudson’s private life with great empathy. Hudson lived a double life in order to maintain his status as a movie star. Griffin’s sources are candid but credible and because of that this is a fascinating read. As a gay man, I had to live that way for several years and it is dishonest and it wears on us. We can only imagine how it affected Hudson as a person who was on stage every moment of his life.

“She’s My Dad: A Father’s Transition and a Son’s Redemption” by Jonathan Williams and Paula Stone Williams— A Father’s Confession

Williams, Jonathan S. and Paula Stone Williams. “She’s My Dad: A Father’s Transition and a Son’s Redemption”, William Knox, Westminster, 2018.

A Father’s Confession

Amos Lassen

Jonathan S. Williams was three months into pastoring a new, evangelical church when his father, Paul, confessed that he was transgender. His father was a prominent evangelical pastor who soon became Paula, and Jonathan’s life and ministry went into a tailspin. Jonathan felt betrayed by his mentor and confidante and scared that his church would lose funding and support if Paula’s secret was exposed. He sunk into depression and alcoholism.

“She’s My Dad” follows Jonathan’s long journey toward reconciliation, forgiveness, and acceptance of his father as well as his church’s journey to become one of the  fully LGBTQ-inclusive, evangelical churches in America. Jonathan and Paula provide insight and encouragement for those with trans family members and show us how to empathize with the feelings of loss and trauma and understanding that even being LGBTQ-affirming doesn’t mean the transition of a family member will be easy. Jonathan writes “of his family’s continuing evolution, the meaning of remaining loyal to one’s father even when she is no longer a man, the ongoing theological evolution surrounding transgender rights and advocacy in the church, and the unflinching self-scrutiny of a pastor who lost his God only to find God again in his father’s transition.” Of course, the message here is love and acceptance.

 

Jonathan Williams shares the story of his father’s transition and discusses its impact on his own life. Both parent and son, before becoming ministers, were involved in a church building organization, a movement within Evangelical Christianity, and they had both based their entire lives around the church. 
The story begins with the reader in the middle of issues with the description of Paula’s trip home to New York to come out to the family. This is a family full of pastors, all members deeply involved with their church. Paula, then Paul, recognizes this and describes his situation clinically, explaining that transgender identity is no longer recognized as a psychiatric disorder. Williams doesn’t tell us how the rest of his family responded, but he himself is shattered. He essentially goes through the different stages of grief as he struggles with losing his father.

“There’s no way to know how to react.  We now live in a culture where those who identify as being transgender receive greater support, but behind this there is a family that does not understand.
Paula’s story is fascinating in that she is a member in and a leader of an ultraconservative community. But this is not Paula’s story; it is Jonathan’s.

Paula, of course, immediately loses her job when she comes out as transgender and Williams recognizes and realizes that he too would lose his job if he “came out” as the accepting son of a transgender woman, so, at first, hides this from his church. He struggles to reconcile his relationship with his parent and with his ultraconservative community. He begins to drink heavily. He tells a select few people in his life about his parent’s changing identity but is disappointed when they focus on his parent’s side by celebrating Paula’s courage and perseverance.
What Jonathan is saying to us is that other people are affected by a transition and that today’s narrative does not include having one’s father, brother, sister, mother, child, or spouse become a completely different person on a neurological level. .
Williams’ relationship with his parent is strained in the months after Paula initially came out to the family, but he works through his feelings and eventually the two regain their close and loving relationship. Williams has to make some difficult career choices and eventually leaves the church-building community to focus on a progressive church that is welcoming to the LGBT community.

Williams goes on to discuss his ideas about reconciling his Christian faith with the need to love and accept his parent. It is awful and very sad that the Evangelical world has no place for people like Paula. Williams points out that the Bible only has a few passages that could possibly be referencing homosexuality (and actually do not reference it at all). By leaving his old community and career, Williams shows great courage.
The final section of the book discusses, in depth, certain passages in the Bible. “Williams puts the Bible in its proper context of an ancient text that should be treated as a living document rather than literal truth. He points to the US Constitution as another example: we should not take the words of eighteenth century white men as absolute truth but use it as a guide. He outlines some interesting theories about what those Bible passages that seemingly condemn homosexuality actually mean, and points to some similar passages that had one meaning thousands of years ago and a completely different meaning today, such as the Abraham/Isaac sacrifice story and passages condoning rape and slavery. This section of the book reads a bit like a Bible study, but Williams again demonstrates his strong sense of narrative structure by bringing us back to a final scene that mirrors a passage from earlier in the book, at a baseball game, where he concludes that he is at peace with his faith and that he and his parent have a wonderful relationship again.”

Anyone who has gone through the transition of someone they love should read this. In fact, everyone should read this.

“Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey” by Mark Very— A Remarkable Biography

Dery, Mark. “Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey”,  Little Brown and Company, 2018.

A Remarkable Biography

Amos Lassen

Mark Dery gives us the “definitive biography of the eccentric master of macabre nonsense.” Edward Gorey’s books have influenced our culture in innumerable ways. He is often referred to as the Grandfather of Goth. He was mysterious, and we have never known much about him until now. Gorey

lived with over twenty thousand books and six cats, Frank O’Hara and he roomed together at Harvard. In the late 1940s, Gorey walked around in full-length fur coats, clanking bracelets, and an Edwardian beard.  He was “an eccentric, a gregarious recluse, an enigmatic auteur of whimsically morbid masterpieces” yet who was the real Edward Gorey?

He published over a hundred books and illustrated works by Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Edward Lear, John Updike, Charles Dickens, Hilaire Belloc, Muriel Spark, Bram Stoker, Gilbert & Sullivan, and others. At the same time, he was a deeply complicated and conflicted individual, a man whose art was a reflection of his obsessions with the disquieting and the darkly hilarious.

This book is based on newly uncovered correspondence and interviews with John Ashbery, Donald Hall, Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, and Anna Sui. We see his eccentric genius and mysterious life.

We now see that Gorey has been a critically neglected genius. He was a voracious reader. He took a book with him everywhere so that any time he found himself waiting in line or stuck in a boring situation he could pull out his book and take himself elsewhere. He had over 21,000 books in his library at his death. He watched over 1,000 movies a year. And was a huge fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, cats, and, Balanchine’s ballet performances. To list all the things he enjoyed would maybe be contained in a scroll ten feet long if one wrote them in small, spidery script. 

Gorey considered himself as asexual. He did not want to be pigeonholed as anything really. He was fussy about just being considered an artist when he really saw himself as a writer first. He was flamboyant in his appearance with wearing floor length fur coats year-round and wore sporting rings on every finger. Supposedly, there was a lot of gay coding into his artwork for book covers that he designed for writers. It seems that every crush that Gorey had throughout his life was some form of unrequited love for a member of the same sex. Gorey’s books were dominated by infanticides thus causing parents to be uneasy and making it hard for booksellers to categorize his work. The awkward size of his books was also difficult and forced many publishers to design counter displays for his books at the register.
Gorey’s interests were wide and varied. He was a Renaissance man, not only in talent but also in the way he found the world so fascinating. Mark Dery takes us on a journey into the development of a creative mind and introduce us to a man who figured out a way to live his life in the way he wanted to

Dery did amazing research and we see the man who really was, and wanted to be, an enigma. There is some pop-psychoanalyzing and some application of various social theories, but they are minimal and don’t really detract from the book. Dery does spend much time reviewing particular works of Gorey’s in relation to the period of life he was in and I can see how this could be frustrating. Gorey was a man devoted to his interests and obsessions, so in addition to a biography of Gorey, this book is also very much a biography of things, the things with Gorey loved or at least that held his attention.

“Almost Nothing: The 20th-Century Art and Life of Jozef Czapski” by Eric Karpeles— A Man of Many Lives

Karpeles, Eric. “Almost Nothing: The 20th-Century Art and Life of Jozef Czapski”, New York Review, of Books,  2018.

A Man of Many Lives

Amos Lassen

Józef Czapski (1896–1993) lived many lives during his ninety-six years. He had been a student in Saint Petersburg during the Russian Revolution and a painter in Paris in the roaring twenties. He was a Polish reserve officer fighting against the invading Nazis in the opening weeks of the Second World War and he was taken prisoner by the Soviets. He was one of the very few excluded from Stalin’s sanctioned massacres of Polish officers. He never returned to Poland after the war. Instead he worked tirelessly in Paris to keep alive awareness of the plight of his homeland that had been overrun by totalitarian powers. Czapski was a major public figure, but painting is what meaning to his life. Eric Karpeles shares Czapski’s full complexity, pulling together all the threads of this remarkable life.

 Today Czapski remains a little-known artist and writer who was on hand for some of the 20th century’s major events. A central episode in Czapski’s life was his internment in Russia before being allowed to go to British territory. He wrote about this in “Inhuman Land” which was just published by NYRB. In it, Karpeles sheds abundant light on this, giving us a nuanced portrait of a man of parts. A Zelig-like figure, Czapski is, by Karpeles’ account, ‘largely unknown to American readers and artists.’

Czapski was quite a man. He was a soldier, diplomat, aristocrat, writer, intellectual, and an artist. As an artist himself, Eric Karpeles, his biographer, is able to grasp him on his own terms. The result is that Karpeles’ engrossing book is part biography, part intellectual history, part personal memoir—and a “confrontation across time and across canvas of one artist with another.” Karpeles has written a beautiful and essential book.

Czapski’s story is epic and brings together “the brilliance and cruelty of the twentieth century with a steadiness of vision. Józef Czapski was a beautiful human being and one who was always ready to help friends and strangers. When his goodness came together with his artistry and intellectualism, we get a rare combination. He was an exceptional man living at a time of historical brutality.  Czapski’s writings were witness to twentieth- century history. Now we in the English-speaking world have a chance to get to know him.

“We: An Adoption and a Memoir” by Ben Barnz— Speaking in Simple Truths

Barnz, Ben. “We: An Adoption and a Memoir”,  Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, 2018.

Speaking in Simple Truths

Amos Lassen

Ben Barnz’s memoir, “We” is a story that is told in simple truths. We read about what it is to be a father, a son, a partner, an adopted family in a story that is filled with emotion and feeling yet there is also humor.

Writer Ben Barnz writes truth after truth about bringing a new child into this world and we see that this is always a complicated task, regardless of personal situation. Barnz’s heartrending honesty is about becoming yourself so your children can take their place in the world.” We are reminded of

the capacity of love. The story is told with beautiful honesty, vulnerability and humor. This is the story of “the author’s journey to fatherhood through the ups and downs of the complex adoption process.” We become aware of Barnz’s boundless love, reverence and uncommon honesty as he trods emotional path to parenthood. This is his story and he uses it to articulate “his very complicated, very human feelings about himself, his parents, his husband and the bizarre events that unfold after they bring their baby home.”

 

“Young, Gay & Restless: My SCANDALOUS On-Screen & Off-Screen Sexual Liberations” by Thom Bierdz— Memoir of a Soap Hunk

Bierdz, Thom. “Young, Gay & Restless: My SCANDALOUS On-Screen & Off-Screen Sexual Liberations”, Bierdz, 2018.

Memoir of a Soap Hunk

Amos Lassen

Thom Bierdz is Phillip Chancellor III on “The Young and the Restless”. He brings us his new sex memoir with the sensationalism of his brother Troy’s story. Bierdz has had to transcend the tragedy of his schizophrenic brother murdering their mom as well as his own scandalous (often amusing) sex adventures. Bierdz was a young closeted cowboy from the sexually-shaming Midwest who became a soap opera star and now 30 years later exposes his amusing and “complicated carnal journey including sexual assaults, trysts with stars, a proposition from a bishop, romance with a famed billionaire, noncommittal relationships, social anxiety, taboo fantasies, penile enlargement, psycho fan roommate, online hook-ups, gym sex, mid-life crisis, leaving Hollywood and society, impotence and rekindled romance.” The book is sexually explicit and contains nude photographs and graphic language. SEXUALLY EXPLICIT. Bierdz has appeared on “Melrose Place”, “Murder She Wrote”, “Matlock”, “Old Dogs New Tricks” and is currently president of www.AmericanArtAwards.com.

“Jimmy Neurosis: A Memoir” by James Oseland— Gay During the 1970s Punk Revolution in America

Oseland, James. “Jimmy Neurosis: A Memoir”, Ecco, 2019.

Gay During the 1970s Punk Revolution in America

Amos Lassen

I must begin this review by telling you that before I got this book, I had never heard of James Oseland or Jimmy Neurosis. That could very well be due to the fact that I was out of the country during the punk revolution of the 70s or because I was from the south and these stories just never got to us. Be that as it may, I know now who he is because of his beautifully written memoir.

Today, James Oseland is the editor-in-chief of World Food, a book series that is coming from Penguin Random House in 2019. He was the editor-in-chief of “Saveur”, the critically acclaimed food magazine. Oseland has been a judge on “Celebrity Apprentice”, on five seasons of “Top Chef Masters” and on “Chef America”. He lives in New York City. But before

James Oseland was a judge on “Top Chef Masters”, he was a teen rebel who grew up in the California, suburbs. He really wanted to do something wild and became very active in the punk movement of 70s America. He took the name Jimmy Neurosis and became part of the vibrant underground world that included visionary musicians and artists. He left California and headed to Manhattan where he learned about friendship and testing the limits. He was part of the fun and the dangers of the time.

He shares his life that was filled with music, art, drugs, and sexual adventure and he discovers a creativity that saved his life. I am so glad that we are reclaiming gay history and there are several who are now writing their memoirs so that we can know how LGBT life really was once and before AIDS. Oseland gives us a coming of age story that was unique to America at the time and I find it wonderful to read the words of someone who was once considered a misfit and then went on to become an important part of our community. This is a book about a time and a place that we will never have again. It is also the author’s personal story

of discovering his own creativity saved his life, he tells a thrilling and uniquely American coming-of-age story. By sharing his memories, we become part of his life and his world. I was so mesmerized by what he has to say here that I read his book in one sitting and then immediately began to read it a second time.

“She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy” by Jill Soloway— A Memoir of Personal Transformation

Soloway, Jill. “She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy”,  Crowne Archetype, 2018.

A Memoir of Personal Transformation

Amos Lassen

Jill Soloway’s memoir takes us on an emotional journey of patriarchy that began when Jill’s parent came out as transgender and pushed Jill to break through male-dominated Hollywood to create the groundbreaking and award-winning Amazon TV series “Transparent”The series explores identity, love, sexuality, and the blurring of boundaries through “the dynamics of a complicated and profoundly resonant American family” and it has brought about a new cultural consciousness. As she worked on the show and defied mainstream ideas about gender, Soloway began to erase the lines on their own map and found a new voice as a director, show creator, and activist. 

This is a candid look at Soloway’s evolution from straight, married mother of two to identifying as queer and nonbinary. It is a change and metamorphosis that reflects shifting power dynamics that continue to shape the worldview. We gain a look at the inside workings of the #metoo movement and what followed and it is a look at the generation that has new ideas about gender, inclusion, desire, and consent. Not only do we get a look at Soloway’s life but we also get a portrait of the larger human struggle in which the creation of a revolutionary TV show influenced a revolution in our culture. We learn what it means to be a woman and what it takes to be a creator. We are very aware of the passion, the vulnerability and the fierceness that is Soloway as we read the story of changing worlds. Soloway’s life has become something of a revolution that is both cultural and personal. What began as a memoir becomes something of a manifesto. If you did not realize how much “Transparent” has brought this country toward acceptance, you will see that here. Indeed entertainment can change us and the culture we live in and as we are entertained, we learn.

Soloway writes with brutal honesty. Compassion and courage. We read true stories here and they share the difficult painful revelations, triumphs, and failures of life. We also get wonderful gossip, revelation and we are called upon to act.

Of course, we also read of Soloway’s self-doubt, self-discovery, and self-actualization. As we read we get a better understanding of what it means to be Other and what it means to discover who we are and understand that each of us deserves happiness. “Soloway’s perspective on sexuality and family is both candid and timely “and urges us to question society’s view of gender and define it for themselves.”

Now Soloway has embarked on a grand mission and is determined to see it through.Today, we live in a world where gender doesn’t mean what it used to and if you really want to understand that, this is a book for you.

“Southern Discomfort” by Tena Clark— Coming of Age and Coming Out in Mississippi

Clark, Tena. “Southern Discomfort: A Memoir, Touchstone, 2018.

Coming of Age and Coming Out in Mississippi

Amos Lassen

The moment I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. After all, I am from the South and although geographically I am now a Yankee, I will always be a southerner in my heart. “Southern Discomfort” is a memoir “set in rural Mississippi during the Civil Rights era about a white girl coming of age in a repressive society and the woman who gave her the strength to forge her own path—the black nanny who cared for her.”

Tena Clark was born in 1953 in a small Mississippi town close to the Alabama border, where the legacy of slavery and racial injustice was everywhere. At first glance, her childhood sounds wonderful. Her father was one of the richest men in the state; her mother was quite a beauty. The family lived on a large farm and had the only swimming pool in town. Tena was a child of privilege. Looking deeper into the family, we see that Tena’s life was lonely and filled with chaos. chaotic. By the time she was three, her parents’ marriage became an alcoholic swamp filled with infidelity and guns. Tena also learned quite early that she was different from her three sisters and that she liked women. Her sisters had had been beauty queens and majorettes. “Tena knew she didn’t want to be a majorette—she wanted to marry one.” (I love this line).

On Tena’s tenth birthday, her mother left her father because of his cheating and Tena was left in the care of her black nanny, Virgie, who became Tena’s surrogate mother and confidante. Virgie always had time for Tena even though she was raising nine of her own children. Because of Virgie’s acceptance and unconditional love, Tena gained the courage to stand up to her father, believe in her mother’s love, and the strength to be her true self. As I read, I could not help but see the similarities between Tena’s life and my own (and the lives of many people that I know).

Tena’s family is more than just dysfunctional and we learn from it. We really see the complexities of people here and how the “old” South became the “new” South. Clark’s debut is an entirely original story in which she shares her deeply personal, private struggles and the painful, shameful struggles she was witness to in Mississippi during the Civil Rights era.

We see that even when one lives in fear, anger, and hate that there can be tolerance, forgiveness, and love. Clark grew up in the Jim Crow South and really tried to be the person her family wished her to be but it wasn’t who she is. It was her strong sense of social injustice that compelled her to behave in ways that could have been dangerous, specifically for those whom she feels have been mistreated. I have to say that I love this book with the themes of racism, sexuality, family, and Southern complexities of the South. Tena Clark gives me the faith to believe that the legacy of Tennessee William’s South is still alive.

“A Politically Incorrect Feminist: Creating a Movement With Bitches, Lunatics, Dykes, Prodigies, Warriors, and Wonder Women” by Phyllis Chesler— A Memoir About the Pioneers of Modern Day Feminism

Chesler, Phyllis. “A Politically Incorrect Feminist: Creating a Movement With Bitches, Lunatics, Dykes, Prodigies, Warriors, and Wonder Women”, St. Martin’s Press, 2018.

A Memoir About the Pioneers of Modern-Day Feminism

Amos Lassen

Phyllis Chesler was a pioneer of Second Wave Feminism. Between 1972-1975, feminists integrated the want ads, brought class action lawsuits on behalf of economic discrimination, opened rape crisis lines and shelters for battered women, held marches and sit-ins for abortion and equal rights, famously took over offices and buildings, and pioneered high profile Speak-outs. Likewise, they began the first-ever national and international public conversations about birth control and abortion, sexual harassment, violence against women, female orgasm, and a woman’s right to kill in self-defense.

Like any movement, the feminist movement has changed over the years. Chesler knew some of its first pioneers, including Gloria Steinem, Kate Millett, Flo Kennedy, and Andrea Dworkin and these women were forces of nature and action heroes in real life. They were changing the world and becoming major players in history. Chesler tells us about them.

This is a survey of the Women’s Movement from the viewpoint of one feminist who was involved in the Movement from its beginning and, after the publication of her groundbreaking “Women and Madness,” participated in women’s actions across the country and the world. She takes us inside the and shares what was happening in a movement that started as scattershot grassroots, with small groups of women forming with no contact yet finding one another. We read of the arguments, the infighting, and backstabbing, some of which perhaps she contributed to, but she also shows us the sense of commitment and the passion to see justice done for women.

She knows those feminists whose contributions are generally unrecognized but without whom there would have been no Movement and she has included them all. Chesler is a revolutionary poet, a social scientist, a radical feminist, and a controversial warrior and an excellent writer.

The Feminist Movement has changed American culture profoundly especially when it re-emerged in the 1970’s. This is the most extensive, richly-detailed and well-written account of that historic movement and is a personal life-trajectory of one of the central early leaders of feminism, an analysis of many of the key concepts of the movement, and an inside look at its major conferences and events. It is also an honest and informative celebration of the hundreds of women who created the movement. Chesler names some 600 women and they are both the well known and the unknown.

Through Phyllis Chesler’s eyes, we get the history and the experiences that were part of the movement. She recounts her involvement with almost every aspect of the struggle, and gives an intimate introduction to the many players, sharing their strengths and weaknesses, idiosyncrasies and yes, madness.

The book shows that indeed, “the movement was created by “bitches, lunatics, prodigies and warriors,” as the book subtitle describes. Yet, overall, they were Wonder Women, because they lurched our society forward into the changes of the late 20th century and early 21st century—and to what we are now experiencing as the “third-wave feminism.”