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History Matters Book Forum in the Journal of Women’s History

Provocative was a popular word among the four historians who participated in a Journal of Women’s History book forum on Judith M. Bennett’s History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism. Here are some highlights from the dialogue.

". . .Judith Bennett’s provocative, wide-ranging new book . . . has convinced me that African feminists are not alone in their inattention to history."–Iris Berger

"Bennett has skillfully woven together what originally appeared as discrete pieces into a provocative and impassioned book that calls for a rethinking by women’s historians and women’s studies scholars."–Leila J. Rupp

"Bennett has given us an insightful and highly stimulating account of the last three decades of women’s and gender history, as well as a very timely intervention in a host of debates."–Ulrike Strasser

"Bennett’s argument of why a distant past is historically important for present-minded scholars tends to rely on examples from her area of expertise. I would have found her argument more compelling had she chosen to expand her discussions to include "pre-modern" histories outside of the West."–Judy Tzu-Chun Wu

"I wrote throughout, as we all must do, from my own experiences, both
personal and intellectual; I stretched as far as I could, but
recognizing the limits of any one perspective,I explicitly hoped that
my observations would be debated, emended, and expanded by historians
whose backgrounds and expertise differ from what I could bring to the
table. These four commentators have done just that, and I thank them
for their engagement."–Judith M. Bennett

The complete book forum is available online through Project MUSE.