Feminism’s Orphan

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese: Paternalism’s Daughter by Deborah A. Symonds

University of Virginia Press, 2021
(339 pages, $39.50, hardcover)

The biographer’s task is to find patterns in, bring meaning to, and highlight the significance of a human life. Drake University historian Deborah Symonds so engages the legacy of her teacher and subsequent editorial colleague, the woman-of-letters Elizabeth (“Betsey”) Fox-Genovese. The challenge here is relatively daunting, for Symonds finds her subject to be both “noted and notorious, kind and cutting,” a “lightning rod” in the American culture wars of the last sixty years.

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Allan C. Carlson is the John Howard Distinguished Senior Fellow at the International Organization for the Family. His most recent book is Family Cycles: Strength, Decline & Renewal in American Domestic Life, 1630-2000 (Transaction, 2016). He and his wife have four grown children and nine grandchildren. A "cradle Lutheran," he worships in a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He is a senior editor for Touchstone.

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