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From Eve to Evolution: Darwin, Science, and Women's Rights in Gilded Age America [Hardcover]

Kimberly A Hamlin

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Price: 27.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 May 2014
From Eve to Evolution provides the first full-length study of American women's responses to evolutionary theory and illuminates the role science played in the nineteenth-century women's rights movement. Kimberly A. Hamlin reveals how a number of nineteenth-century women, raised on the idea that Eve's sin forever fixed women's subordinate status, embraced Darwinian evolution-especially sexual selection theory as explained in The Descent of Man - as an alternative to the creation story in Genesis. Hamlin chronicles the lives and writings of the women who combined their enthusiasm for evolutionary science with their commitment to women's rights, including Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Eliza Burt Gamble, Helen Hamilton Gardener, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These Darwinian feminists believed evolutionary science proved that women were not inferior to men, that it was natural for mothers to work outside the home, and that women should control reproduction. The practical applications of this evolutionary feminism came to fruition, Hamlin shows, in the early thinking and writing of the American birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger. Much scholarship has been dedicated to analyzing what Darwin and other male evolutionists had to say about women, but very little has been written regarding what women themselves had to say about evolution. From Eve to Evolution adds much-needed female voices to the vast literature on Darwin in America.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (23 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022613461X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226134611
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.3 x 2.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 990,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"From Eve to Evolution documents the ardent ways in which women's rights advocates articulated and advanced Charles Darwin's observations of female choice in the natural world as a counterargument to age-old Biblical assertions about women's roles in society. A fresh intellectual history of late nineteenth-century feminism that will interest historians of science as well as those interested in women, gender, and science issues." (Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, editor of History of Women in the Sciences)"

About the Author

Kimberly A. Hamlin is assistant professor of American studies and history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She lives in Cincinnati.

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