Read Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings by Joanna Brooks Rachel Hunt Steenblik Hannah Wheelwright Online


This groundbreaking collection gathers together for the first time the essential writings of the contemporary Mormon feminist movement--from its historic beginnings in the 1970s to its vibrant present, offering the best Mormon feminist thought and writing.No issue in Mormonism has made more headlines than the faith's distinctive approach to sex and gender. From its polygamThis groundbreaking collection gathers together for the first time the essential writings of the contemporary Mormon feminist movement--from its historic beginnings in the 1970s to its vibrant present, offering the best Mormon feminist thought and writing.No issue in Mormonism has made more headlines than the faith's distinctive approach to sex and gender. From its polygamous nineteenth-century past to its twentieth-century stand against the Equal Rights Amendment and its twenty-first-century fight against same-sex marriage, the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has consistently positioned itself on the frontlines of battles over gender-related identities, roles, and rights. But even as the church has maintained a conservative position in public debates over sex and gender, Mormon women have developed their own brand of feminism by recovering the lost histories of female leadership and exploring the empowering potential of Mormon theology. The selections in this book-many gathered from out-of-print anthologies, magazines, and other ephemera--walk the reader through the history of Mormon feminism, from the second-wave feminism of the 1970s to contemporary debates over the ordination of women.Collecting essays, speeches, poems, and prose, Mormon Feminism presents the diverse voices of Mormon women as they challenge assumptions and stereotypes, push for progress and change in the contemporary LDS Church, and band together with other feminists of faith hoping to build a better world....

Title : Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings
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ISBN : 9780190248031
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings Reviews

  • Savannah
    2019-02-04 15:46

    I loved this book SO MUCH. I think some people might be put off by the title? and I wasn't sure what to expect - but it's really just a collection of personal essays, poems, and talks written by LDS women on what it means to be an LDS woman. There were so many historical gems in here that I had never heard before - especially about the history of Relief Society, which was SO different in the early years of the church than it is today. (Calling sisters to go door-to-door in support of women's suffrage?!) The selection was pretty balanced, including both more liberal and more conservative perspectives. And I was so touched by so much of the thoughtful, heartfelt writing. I wish I could gift a copy to every person I know.

  • Olivia
    2019-02-08 09:54

    Brilliant, fascinating, and useful for scholars, students and mormons alike. Reading through the chronology of modern mormon feminism is fascinating and appalling, inspiring and infuriating. EVERYONE should read this book, it really is 'essential.'

  • Austin
    2019-02-16 08:54

    I grew up in a small Wyoming town with four younger brothers, largely unaware of female concerns or issues in the Church. My own mother, though well-read and thoughtful, is--like me--a constitutionally happy, optimistic, and faith-oriented person, and I never heard or sensed discontent from her about spending years of her life primarily in our home. She has told me she does not regret her life's path, eschewing a mission in favor of marrying my father, not completing her English degree at BYU as they transferred to Utah State to prepare my Dad for veterinary school, and raising five boys in the country. I believe her. But reading 'Mormon Feminism' has helped me understand the diversity of women's experiences in the Church, and broadened my compassion towards those who, for whatever reason, suffer as women. I do believe there are positive changes that can be made throughout Church policy and practice to further empower all women to achieve their full potential, and Mormon scripture makes clear that many important truths are yet to be revealed. That being said, I was drawn much more to some essays and poems than others in the anthology. Some of them felt dismissive, presumptive, and proud to me, while others seemed more humble, insightful, and inspired. I particularly liked Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's 'Lusterware,' Margaret Merrill Toscano's early work 'The Missing Rib: The Forgotten Place of Queens and Priestesses in the Establishment of Zion,' Lisa Butterworth's '13 Articles of Healthy Chastity,' and Valerie Hudson Cassler's 'The Two Trees.' Here are some of my favorite bits: --"We spend no time railing at men. In general, members affirm the family as the basic unit in society and hope to work out strong partnerships with husbands to provide the best possible upbringing for their children. The programs of the Church are appreciated in working toward these goals." pg. 36--"There have been problems and puzzles and enigmas. I have found that clear thinking and the use of the tools that a good education can provide, utilized under the influence of the Holy Spirit, which one must seek, and which has province over all matters of the intellect and all matters of learning, that these in combination, the Holy Spirit and the process of clear thinking, can solve many problems and answer many questions. But where they do not supply the answers, I am content to wait." pg. 49--From early apostle Erastus Snow: "I must believe that Deity consists of man and woman . . . there can be no god except he is composed of the man and woman united, and there is not in all the eternities that exist, nor ever will be, a God in any other way . . . There never was a God, and there never will be in all eternities, except they are made of these two component parts; a man and a woman; the male and the female." pg. 81.--"The old cliché that men have the priesthood and women have motherhood is clearly inappropriate; it makes no sense. Women have motherhood, and men have fatherhood. Men have priesthood, and women have priesthood too." pg. 141. --"The Church was not a place that exemplified Christian virtues so much as a place that required them." pg. 148. --"The temptations of skepticism are real. Sweeping up the lusterware, we sometimes forget to polish and cherish the silver, not knowing that the power of discernment is one of the gifts of the Spirit, that the ability to discover counterfeit wares also gives us the power to recognize the genuine." pg. 153. --"They stood in awe as truth flew by like a dove and dropped a feather in the West. Where truth flies you follow if you are a pioneer. I have searched the skies and now and then another feather has fallen. I have packed the handcart again packed it with the precious things and thrown away the rest." pg. 292.

  • Natalie
    2019-01-21 09:52

    This compilation was incredible! Having a legitimate volume of Mormon Feminist canon from the 1970s on is invaluable to my studies as well as a Mormon Feminist. It is hard to have a reference point regarding past efforts in the movement, Church response to the movement, member and leader thought on the movement, goals of the movement, and motivations for those within the movement without a touchstone like this. I have learned so much over the course of reading this. I now have a context for my work, and I am so grateful. Over the course of reading the entries in this book I cried, laughed, felt angry, felt incredulous, felt uncomfortable, felt like I'd found more kindred spirits, disagreed, agreed, considered, and everything in-between. I recommend all Mormon women read this book in order to understand the issues. Reading this book does not require you to agree or espouse the opinions shared therein (which I'd like to point out have a significant variety). It simply allows you to understand. And sense this is effecting LDS women and men's lives, we should know all sides of the story. It is simply responsible. If you are not LDS and want to gain some insight to a grassroots feminist effort that is currently ebbing, flowing, breathing, and kicking, then read this book. Well done Brooks, Steenblick, and Wheelwright. Thanks for maintaining our history.

  • Rachel Rueckert
    2019-01-22 08:56

    Personal. Profound. This is a must read for Mormons, especially Mormon women. We have a rich heritage and it is time to bring it forward again and build anew.

  • Lisa
    2019-01-21 15:02

    Disclaimer: Two of my poems are anthologized in this book.This is indeed an essential book, gathering together important writing by Mormon feminists from the 1970s to the early 2000s. As an LDS woman, I was encouraged and discouraged by the various entries in the book. I learned, and my thoughts were provoked, and I came away wishing that every Church leader and member, male and female, could read many of these writings and experience the pain, joy, anger, faithfulness, despair, intellectual rigor, spiritual depth, practical suggestions, good humor, and hope they collectively represent. The entries that point out the global, non-white, non-North American experiences of women in the Church gave me new insights, and I wish there were more of them. I am not comfortable or in agreement with some of the writers in this book, but I think discomfort can be a good thing. I am sad that some of the writers seem to pick out for disdain and even contempt a statement or some thinking by some Church leaders, who I know are trying to understand the problems women face in the Church, even as steeped in hierarchical and cultural non-feminist ideas as they have been (and some of us have been) all their lives--I intuit that these same writers may be much more patient and compassionate toward women with whom they disagree. I am grateful that they are all my sisters and I hope the Church can open its arms wide to embrace their thoughts and experiences, as I am sure the Lord does. More practically and immediately, I think some of the writing about how sexual experiences, abuse, and domestic violence could be better dealt with by Church leaders, and women more included in leadership in these areas and in counseling and helping other women, young women, and girls, could and should be implemented by the Church soon and thoughtfully.

  • Kristen
    2019-01-28 08:54

    I will start by saying I think every woman and man should read this book if they are Mormonism, feminism, or theology (or all three). I really did LOVE it. I will also add that I hesitate in recommending it because I know some people (especially women) will have a hard time reading it. It isn't a book you can read quickly and forget about. It makes a deep impression and can leave someone feeling very uncomfortable. It will change the way you view your place as a woman in a religious community or it will change the way you view other women as well. I think the awareness this book brings will help others to change their vocabulary in speaking of women in the LDS church and make them think twice before accepting the generic comments made to women. At times I struggled reading it because some truths are difficult to read. The glaring inequality women face in this world is still a modern problem. I cried a few times and became very angry at others. It was a growing up experience all on its own. I am still processing it.

  • Sharman Wilson
    2019-02-14 14:02

    I love having all the documents in one place! The commentary introduces us to the movers and shakers in the different waves of Mormon feminism and puts everything in historical perspective. The diversity of views in these movements might be surprising to many, but with the globalization of the Church and the changing political climate, this is to be expected. I've followed the movement for years, but as a white American living a day's drive from Mormon headquarters, I especially appreciated the perspectives of the women of color and non-Americans. The essay I learned the most from was Laura Compton's. She discusses the dissonance many modern LDS women experience with the equality rhetoric coming from the pulpit as opposed to women's roles as depicted in the temple rituals. I am happy to have this book in my library to return to again and again.

  • Janeb7
    2019-02-14 10:00

    I hate to use the phrase "a must-read" about books because then it makes them seem like homework, but this book is indeed "essential" reading. At once heartbreaking and encouraging, it's a fascinating entry-point into the world of mormon feminist thought. With a variety of perspectives and topics presented, it was informative while also being emotionally and spiritually meaningful.

  • Kristen
    2019-01-29 10:40

    Excellent, moving, important works collected in a well-edited volume. Each contribution is prefaced by an insightful contextual introduction, and the overall chronological organization helps see the development of activity over time. However, I chose to read it topically using the topic guides in the back. Many of these pieces were deeply meaningful to me and I wish I had known of these works years earlier. Surprisingly though, the chronology of events that is in the introductory material was what moved me to tears, as I read there documented the sad (backwards) progress of the position of women in the church.

  • Katie
    2019-02-13 15:47

    Thank God for the amazing women who have worked so hard in their research to bring Mormon women's history to light. I'm also appreciative of the women who were so brave in sharing their personal experiences, even if they diverge from the ideal or turn up more questions than answers. This book gives me a lot to think about. I'm very familiar with current Mormon Feminist topics, mainly through FMH, but this book provides the foundations of the original conversations--I feel better knowing the history of these topics and being a part of a continuous feminist conversation within Mormonism.

  • Kira Brighton
    2019-02-08 14:53

    *Received free copy through Goodreads First Reads*This was an intense experience. Interesting and educational, and I am glad I read it, even though parts are kind of controversial. I loved a lot of the essays and only had minor disagreements with some. One of them was very upsetting to me, but I think it was important that I read it so I could confront that issue, you know? It'll definitely have an impact on my future decisions, for the good and towards greater spirituality. So yes, I'm glad this exists.

  • Ian yarington
    2019-01-24 10:53

    Religion is always something that intrigues me so when I won this in the Giveaway's I was half excited. Sometimes the feminism title makes me shy away from some stuff but in the case of this book I think it's more of a woman's/women's perspective versus pure feminism. To me its the extensive history and how it relates to Mormonism that is interesting.

  • Christy
    2019-02-09 16:06

    I am so glad this anthology of Mormon feminist writings exists in the world. I found comfort in finding that many of the issues I have been thinking about around Mormon feminism are not new to me or my generation, but were already addressed by thoughtful, articulate women. My views were broadened and challenged; my heart was troubled and lifted.

  • Joanne LaFleur
    2019-01-24 09:43

    I was pleasantly surprised to discover this collection of essays, poems, and scholarly articles written by Mormon feminists over the last 40+ years. (Mormon feminists, you might ask? Isn't that an oxymoron? No. We are actually OxyMormons.) Having grown up in a culture that taught me that women don't have anything of value to say, I was pleased to find that, actually, women do. These essays provided much of the historical context I needed to understand my feelings about the church "auxiliary" for women, the Relief Society (RS). When the RS was an independent organization, LDS women did things that most of us cannot even imagine now. By comparison, the current version of the RS is a hollow shell of what it once was. Although much of this history is documented in the church-published "50-years of Relief Society" tome, the synthesis this book provides enabled me to discover just how much LDS women have lost over the last 100 years without searching through 1,000 pages of meeting minutes. (Unfortunately, what I discovered has completely obliterated what was left of the shattered hope I once had that progress mostly moves forward.) I also appreciated the thoughtful analysis of the symbolism in our rituals, which did much to explain the dissonance I've always felt as I've tried to reconcile our doctrines with our practices. I'd hate to give the impression that Mormon feminists have no optimism; so, if you read it you may be as pleased as I was to discover, hidden in the middle like the precious salt of the earth, a beautifully-affirming essay called "Lusterware" by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, an essay that showed me a way to move forward in a faith that may have less divinity than its members like to think. Remember, she says, the Savior taught that the kingdom of God is in our hearts (not in earthly institutions).

  • Sabra
    2019-01-27 12:39

    This book is only 292 pages. Please don't let the inaccurate description on this goodreads page detract you from reading it. I love this book. Love it, with the exception of the Two Trees (which was literally the worst feminist essay I've ever read, everything about it reaffirmed patriarchy and stereotypes about women). I was so sad to finish this book, like finishing an incredibly eye opening and reaffirming conversation with a close friend. "Who can I talk to about this stuff now?" I learned so much about the members, the LDS church, Mormon culture and history, LDS church leadership and temple ordinances and meanings hidden and obvious. There are so many imbalances and "separate but equal" myths perpetuated by LDS leadership and members that are hidden from the average member who knows very little about the inner workings and administration of the LDS church.It's definitely a very well researched anthology packed with references, dates and footnotes that will allow you to further research any of the topics included. There were a few that I would've liked references on that were not provided, mostly because of the creators of the pieces included in this anthology; they would create a piece that included the words of a church leader but no reference or date.

  • Natasha
    2019-02-02 10:54

    "The silence of women reverberates through the tradition, distorting the shape of narrative and skewing the content of the law." Writes Judith Plaskow, "if we refuse to recognize the painful truth about the extent of women's invisibility, we can never move forward." I feel this so profoundly. It was beautiful to feel a part of this community of women, that spans generations, who feel similarly to me.

  • Amy
    2019-02-13 14:37

    I loved this collection! I consider myself fairly well-versed in Mormon feminist writings, but this is a great compilation and historical overview. I love having all these resources gathered in the same place. I did find the introductions a bit dry and over-long, and the format was difficult to read at times, but the essays themselves are wonderfully thought-provoking. There are a couple of poems included that will stay with me for a long time.

  • Tracie
    2019-02-18 10:53

    I really appreciate this collection! It does a great job putting many challenging issues and conversations in context. This is not a feel good book, but it is an important collection for anyone trying to understand feminism within Mormonism.

  • Misty
    2019-02-04 13:55

    I honestly do not know what I was thinking when I decided to read this.

  • Kelly
    2019-01-31 13:48

    I struggled with the intro and thought maybe this wasn't the book for me (too dry, trying too hard to be academic) but after that I devoured it. I felt so much less alone and misunderstood as I read the words of my sisters. For the first time I felt like I had a real community of like-minded Mormon women (past and present) who understood me, my concerns, my issues, my trials, my thoughts on temple practices, and the absence of the female in the Godhead. It was amazing! I am not alone. I am also not on the road to apostasy. Rather than their words hurting my testimony, they strengthened it and helped me feel like there was a place for me, and that my feelings were validated and shared by others. I think too often I acquiesce, even though I know in my heart something is unfair and counter to the way God would have me feel. Even though I come out on one side of the ordain women debate, I appreciated their inclusion of feminist women with different thoughts on the priesthood and it's gendered-distribution. There were so many words and ideas that helped me understand myself and my God more. I only wish I had had this available to me about 10 years ago.

  • Niecie
    2019-02-01 11:39

    refreshing, thought-provoking, and validating.

  • Scooping it Up
    2019-02-12 14:51

    So, on the dedication page I cried. That was a good sign. I loved this book.And while I am a member of the LDS church, I have to say, I imagine I would have found this book completely fascinating as an outsider as well. "Mormon Feminism" sounds like a contradiction. We are on the surface (and under it) the champions of eternally divinely appointed gender roles and espouse a deep inequality among genders as God-ordained. We were polygamists (and it still somewhat practiced in a fashion) and currently only allow men to be congregation leaders, enact policy change, carry out decisions about membership, worthiness, handle finances, schedule meetings, approve of speakers in meetings, write church lesson manuals and receive doctrinal revelation on a congregation level as well as church-wide. These, to me, are the ultimate expressions of lack of equality for women.And yet, this book eloquently and thoroughly documents the writings and experiences of the vast and thriving Mormon feminist women, even from the first, even among the early polygamists who fought for their rights, for their autonomy, for their voice, their power, their roles in community and church and not just in the home raising children.It explores gender inequality and spirituality, changes in church policy, changes in the doctrine, changes that sometimes advanced the cause of women towards what many would consider what God wants: "All are alike unto God" and steps backwards. The essays are well researched, well written, the poetry moving. I loved how each essay or poem was given an intro about the author, their role in the women's movement in the church and the context for when and how it was originally published. This context gave power and sense to each essay that wove the entire book together.I was inspired, comforted and sometimes shocked, and simply amazed by my foremothers' hard won and hard lost causes in feminism in a church that puts women on a pedestal while leaving them hanging up there.There were times I cried, other times I laughed. It was a really eye opening and delicious read. I would recommend this for ANY women's studies course as the apparent contradiction of LDS women feminists is a brilliant and wonderful thing to explore. I would also recommend it to LDS folks who wonder "why are some women uncomfortable in church?" This has some great explorations for those people who want to understand.

  • Carl
    2019-01-29 13:59

    This book wasn't as eye-opening as I had hoped that it would be. In fact, I hate to say it, but there were enough portions of it that felt, well, almost whiny to me. I'm aware of the dangers of "tone policing" when it comes to feminist discussions, but in the end I stand by my assessment that the book had too much complaining, and not enough positive contributions to Mormon thought and theology. The entire book felt too reactionary, and while there were a few stand-out moments, the general tone of the selected essays left me wanting more from my Mormon feminist friends. I know that I don't see eye-to-eye with them on many issues (thought not as many as you'd think; I'm sympathetic to MoFems in many ways), but in the end it felt like a bunch of essays by cultural Mormons trying to fix the church in ways that would make it more mainstream or more palpable to the general culture (read: American culture, mostly) at large. That's a project that I'm utterly uninterested in. The book was strongest when it uses actual Mormon theology and scripture to build their feminist points. Sadly, those portions were fewer than I would have hoped. Also, it took me about 2 paragraphs before I went "ugh, this sounds like it was written by Margaret Toscano." Yup. Turns out it was. She and I are like oil and water, theologically, as she represents the epitome of a cultural Mormon trying to do theology while not actually believing any of the doctrine. I skipped those essays.

  • Exponent II
    2019-02-03 10:58

    My only reading time is the time I spend coming home from work on public transit. This means, I get about 20-25 minutes of reading in before I put the book down. This book, being an anthology of lots of essays, is really great for that kind of reading. Read a little here, read a little there.I like the chronological ordering of the essays in the book. It starts in the 1970s and slowly progresses to the current day Bloggernacle. Many of the essays in the first couple of sections of the book are from old copies of Mormon magazines that I don’t have access to, so compiling them here makes them available to me. There are even newer writings, like Neylan McBaine’s recent book To Do the Business of the Church, that I haven’t read yet.I found myself thinking, “Oh yeah, I agree with that.” “Nope, I can see where they are coming from, but I’m not sure about that.” “Ooh, that’s a good point.” There was a particular pairing of essays, almost one right after another, that was really hard for me to get through. It was heavy and made my heart hurt. They were Lynn Matthews Anderson’s excerpts from “Toward a Feminist Interpretation of Latter-day Saint Scripture” and Carol Lynn Pearson’s “Could Feminism Have Saved the Nephites?” Having the inequality of women in scripture laid out so plainly is hard.To read more of this review, please visit the Exponent blog at

  • Ginny
    2019-02-06 13:54

    For those who have an interest in Mormon theology and culture as it relates to gender - active Mormons, new-order Mormons, ex-Mormons, and religious scholars - this is essential reading. I can't see it appealing to people who don't have some background in the LDS church because of the breadth in time the book covers. There's a great deal of implicit cultural knowledge assumed by the many writers and that's okay, but it's for a niche audience. I was surprised my local public library acquired it; some Canadian university libraries would consider it too narrow a subject matter to purchase the book.The introduction mentions which authors have been disfellowshipped or excommunicated (Lynne Whitesides, Kate Kelly, etc.) but otherwise does not single out their works. I think that's good; there is a tendency within the church to outright dismiss anything by an ex-Mormon (even if they were unwillingly removed from record, or wrote it before they left the church) which does the intellect and passion of both the writers and the readers a great disservice. I don't doubt that many readers will find the thoughts expressed in the book to be faith-enriching. I personally see the book as an important chronology of a church that has deeply shaped the lives of the women in my family for generations as expressed by the women of that church.

  • A.C. Paige
    2019-02-08 13:07

    (I received an advanced copy from NetGalley, which is not yet fully ready for publication.) This book is somewhat of an anthology with the editor as a narrator. The editor explains and introduces each author's work before it is presented so that the reader has a clear understanding of the context. The authors of this work address issues such as male dominance and the imbalance of power in the Mormon church. They talk about working women, women's inability to participate in major decisions, women's inability to participate in priesthood and certain rituals, women's reproductive issues, parenting roles, the existence of a Heavenly Mother, polygamy, and women and young ladies having to confess their sexual sins to a middle aged man while being a lone in a room with him. The book includes plenty of footnotes, a glossary, additional resources, and a group study guide. The book is pretty dry and unexcited, but so is much of the material. It basically reads like a text book, and can likely be used in a college classroom dedicated to women's issues. I live among the service population of this book, so I think it is highly likely that the library systems in the area would be interested in purchasing this book.

  • Holly
    2019-01-31 14:41

    I am grateful for this book. It welled up many feelings--grief, joy, discouragement, encouragement--and prompted many new lines of thinking. It is a must-read for any Mormon (male or female; feminist or not) to understand a heritage we all share. I don't agree with everything contained in this anthology, of course, but there is so much good here. Some of my favorites:--"Lusterware" by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, on the challenge of discerning truth.--"The Meeting" by Elouise Bell, a thought-provoking gender-swapping satire.--"The Trouble with Chicken Patriarchy" by Kynthia Taylor, a critique of the LDS Church's rhetorically contradictory positions on gender.--"The Mormon Priestess" by Elizabeth Hammond, on the troubling gender imbalances of temple liturgy.--All the things by Carol Lynn Pearson: "Motherless House," a heart-wrenching poem about missing Heavenly Mother; "Could Feminism Have Saved the Nephites?", an examination of an overlooked interpretation of the Book of Mormon; and "Pioneers," a poem that will stay by my side for a very long time.

  • Sara B.
    2019-02-04 08:42

    I was hesitant to read this thinking it would be a whole lot of negative. After going to a panel discussion in Provo, UT where the editors spoke, I changed my mind. They were very positive and spoke of how important it was to have women's history collected and written down. They talked of feeling like some of the early Mormon pioneer women's voices were crying from the dust through this. I definitely felt this too as I read it.I was most surprised to learn that the 2nd wave Mormon feminists of the 1970s were largely inspired by the discovery of the first Exponent and the women of the early church who were suffragettes. That the 1970s feminists fully believed that feminism was in line with the goals of the church and gospel. What a legacy!There were so many gems in this anthology that I hadn't read and a few that I had read, but now have access to all in one book. Too many inspiring essays, stories and poems to name. Some were painful to read. Many articulated so well concerns I have and hope for the future of the Mormon Church. This book is a must read!

  • Amy Chamberlain
    2019-01-25 16:57

    I would categorize this as essential reading for any Mormon, but then again, I AM a feminist, so that's probably not so surprising. I found this book to be of supreme importance for any thinking Mormon, and for any Mormon who loves her church but knows it could do better in following Christ's admonitions. The overall message is that feminism IS the way of Christ. It opens up doors of opportunity for men and women to work more effectively together. I especially found the works of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Margaret Toscano, Janice Allred, and Carol Lynn Pearson to be moving and important, and I can never get enough Elouise Bell. "The Meeting" is a brilliant example of how humor can point out serious flaws in our culture more effectively than rancor. This is a book I'll turn to again and again.