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Algora Publishing - Sisterhood Was Powerful
                                               For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Tuesday,
Sisterhood Was Powerful
by SUSAN E. REED

 

THE WORLD
SPLIT OPEN:
How the Modern
Women's Movement
Changed America
By Ruth Rosen.
Viking. 446 pp. $34.95.

Purchase this book online
from Amazon.com

In 1975 Gloria Steinem was "trashed," according to Rosen, when two important figures, Carol Hanisch and Kathie Sarachild, accused Steinem of working for the CIA and directing the movement toward moderation and capitulation. Steinem ignored the accusations, hoping they would go away, but then Betty Friedan implied that "a paralysis of leadership" in the movement "could be due to the CIA" and the demanded that Steinem respond.

After three months, Steinem wrote a six-page letter to feminist publications describing her work on two student festivals in 1959 and 1960 that were funded by the CIA. "I naively thought then that the ultimate money source didn't matter, since in my own experience, no control or orders came with it," wrote Steinem, aiming to dispel the charge that she was a government operative.

As it turns out, the government was keeping tabs on the movement through female informants paid by the FBI. It was part of Cointelpro, a domestic surveillance program.

Fragment -- The American Prospect