My Life on the Road

My Life on the Road

Book - 2016
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Gloria Steinem--writer, activist, organizer, and inspiring leader--now tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of her life as a traveler, a listener, and a catalyst for change.  Includes "Secrets," a new chapter!

When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel. Taking to the road--by which I mean letting the road take you--changed who I thought I was. The road is messy in the way that real life is messy. It leads us out of denial and into reality, out of theory and into practice, out of caution and into action, out of statistics and into stories--in short, out of our heads and into our hearts.

Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. When she was a young girl, her father would pack the family in the car every fall and drive across country searching for adventure and trying to make a living. The seeds were planted: Gloria realized that growing up didn't have to mean settling down. And so began a lifetime of travel, of activism and leadership, of listening to people whose voices and ideas would inspire change and revolution.

My Life on the Road is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria's growth and also the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality--and the story of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazi≠ from the historic 1977 National Women's Conference to her travels through Indian Country--a lifetime spent on the road allowed Gloria to listen and connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world.

In prose that is revealing and rich, Gloria reminds us that living in an open, observant, and "on the road" state of mind can make a difference in how we learn, what we do, and how we understand each other.

Praise for My Life on the Road

"Like Steinem herself, [ My Life on the Road ] is thoughtful and astonishingly humble. It is also filled with a sense of the momentous while offering deeply personal insights into what shaped her." -- O: The Oprah Magazine

"A lyrical meditation on restlessness and the quest for equity . . . Part of the appeal of My Life is how Steinem, with evocative, melodic prose, conveys the air of discovery and wonder she felt during so many of her journeys. . . . The lessons imparted in Life on the Road offer more than a reminiscence. They are a beacon of hope for the future." -- USA Today

"A warmly companionable look back at nearly five decades as itinerant feminist organizer and standard-bearer. If you've ever wondered what it might be like to sit down with Ms. Steinem for a casual dinner, this disarmingly intimate book gives a pretty good idea, mixing hard-won pragmatic lessons with more inspirational insights." -- The New York Times

"Steinem rocks. My Life on the Road abounds with fresh insights and is as populist as can be." -- The Boston Globe

"In person and in her writing, Steinem exudes a rare combination of calm, humility and honesty about her weaknesses that explains all she has accomplished." -- Jezebel
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2016, ©2015.
Edition: Random House trade paperback edition.
ISBN: 9780345408167
Characteristics: xxvi, 312 pages :,illustrations ;,21 cm


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when i read elsewhere that ms. steinem was a govt. informant in those heydays of the left, i was disappointed. really---is this what john lennon died for ( back in those days shortly after yoko and he had emigrated, they were mixing with the likes of Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and Bobby Seals and etc. A writer wrote a book called COME TOGETHER which drew upon John's redacted FBI files. One portion redacted was the name of the poser/ government informant amongst these earnest people trying to Stop The War. Later i read a KCLS book which dropped the double bombs which were that Steinem and Jesse Jackson were both govt. employees in this capacity.)

Aug 21, 2017

MY LIFE ON THE ROAD was the first book by Gloria Steinem I had read, and what surprised me was how accessible this feminist icon appears to be in this well-written and engaging memoir. Steinem shares stories about her experiences, struggles, and life lessons learned during her travels. I came away with a number of notable quotes. Steinem ultimately encourages the reader to live life to the fullest while staying true to one’s principles, a message that is all the more relevant in today’s world where many of our leaders demonstrate no moral compass. This book reminded me not only of how far women and society have come, but how far we still have to go… yet as I finished LIFE, like its author, I remain hopeful.

Mar 24, 2017

As a woman who has also travelled, I was very interested to read what Ms. Steinhem experienced and learned along her travels. I never knew anything about her parents and childhood before so I was so quite fascinated and surprised by all that took place. She is such a gifted thinker and writer and I enjoyed her reading her stories. I've always admired her and this book just made me a bigger fan. It made me glad I did all that travelling and that I was open to all it brought. I plan to read more books by her. And I hope young adults will be inspired by this book, put down their devices, and get out there and connect one-on-one to people and the world around them.

Valerie_L Jan 28, 2017

Given the current situation with Donald Trump in The White House, this is a timely read. We won't make much progress until we are all treated equally . It made me laugh. It made me cry. Most importantly is made me question how is it we have made so little progress.

Jul 14, 2016

I enjoyed this but am disappointed by the disjointed nature of the stories that jump around in time and topic so much that it detracts from their power. I also wanted more personal stories like those involving her father and mother.

Jul 01, 2016

I have not cried this much since I first saw Life is Beautiful or Steel Magnolias. If you read one book in your life please make it this one. I have never been more proud to be a feminist nor wanted to be a woman more in my life. We would live in a much better world if Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Gloria Steinem were all mandatory reading for every high school student in America. This is the one in ten thousand books I would rate with 6 stars if I could. I can even forgive Gloria for buying into the government narrative on everything from Dr. King's murder to 9/11 because she so enlightened me with all her stories of interesting social justice warriors she has worked with and fought for over the decades. Hell, I may even change my populist vote to Hilary Clinton come November.

Apr 26, 2016

Brilliant, intelligent, well-accomplished, feminist; overall, amazing woman.
Loved this book!

Apr 18, 2016

These autobiographic musings by such a well-known liberal activist are both interesting and informative, and it is always better to hear the stories from the person herself. Although not mentioned in any of the reviews which I have read, I thought that the most interesting aspect of the book is Steinem's understanding and support of indigenous community - as she says, it is important to look at what kind of society existed before patriarchy. This is a good book to recommend to young women.

Mar 16, 2016

The central idea of this book is about finding your true self through travel, but Gloria Steinem touches on a variety of issues. The most moving parts of the book are about listening to the people you meet while travelling, and learning from them. Gloria Steinem is often surprised by the things she learns on the road, and she learns from the strangers who reappear throughout her life. Steinem has decades of experience as an activist, and this book is a fascinating look at her lifetime of being inspired by her travels.

Mar 15, 2016

This is a wonderful book giving us the back story on the women's movement beginning during the sixties.Should be requried reading for all Millennials especially the young women who have no idea of what life was like for women just a few short decades ago. I was there and am proud to say I did my part to help create a world with balanced opportunities for both women and men. Well written, informative and entertaining.

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Aug 21, 2017

“If you want people to listen to you, you have to listen to them. If you hope people will change how they live, you have to know how they live. If you want people to see you, you have to sit down with them eye-to-eye.” - p. 37

Aug 21, 2017

“If you find yourself drawn to an event against all logic, go. The universe is telling you something.” - p. 42

Aug 21, 2017

“We learn most where we know the least.” - p. 111

Aug 21, 2017

“Remember: ‘For want of a nail, the horseshoe was lost, for want of a horseshoe, the horse was lost, for want of a horse, the battle was lost, for want of a battle, the war was lost.’ This parable should be the mantra of everyone who thinks her or his vote doesn’t count.” - pp. 174-5


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Aug 09, 2017

I really dug this book. The book is kind of like if Kerouac and Voltaire got together to write about a mid-20th century civil rights leader. It is engaging. The people Steinem meets are much more likable than any Kerouac character. The book is also just really quotable. I recommend it.

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