Her Passions, Politics, and MystiqueBook - 1997
For this first truly revelatory account of Gloria Steinem, Sydney Ladensohn Stern spent fifty hours interviewing Steinem, in addition to conducting interviews with friends, lovers, and associates from both her past and present. After joining the women's movement, Steinem cofounded Ms. magazine, the Ms. Foundation, the National Women's Political Caucus, and Voters for Choice. She has written innumerable articles and four books, including several major bestsellers; made hundreds of speeches every year; campaigned; organized; and raised money for an endless stream of organizations, causes, candidates, and individuals.
Yet inside the celebrity, symbol, and leader is a complex woman, a fascinating combination of contradiction -- courageous yet vulnerable, beautiful but insecure, generous and ambitious, highly intelligent yet at times willfully blind. She truly embodies the conflict between the traditional female role of "being" (pretty, charming, supportive) and the male role of "doing" (achieving success in the world).
While Steinem always wanted to be more than just another "pretty girl", she was not beyond using her looks, considerable charm, and sex appeal to both attract men and advance professionally. Her lovers include director Mike Nichols; screenwriter Robert Benton; speechwriter Ted Sorerison; and Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson.
By the time she discovered feminism in 1969 at the age of thirty-five, she had graduated from Smith Collegemagna cure laude; traveled in India; worked for a ClA front organization; gone undercover