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22gigantes.com - A woman is running for United States President! Socialism is gaining ground in America and a campaign is underway to redefine marriage, causing a culture war between Christian leaders and feminists. The year is 1872, and Victoria Woodhull is leading the radical faction of the women's rights movement along with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. On the other end of women's rights spectrum, more philosophically aligned with Lucy Stone and Mary Livermore, a movement that would put women into the pulpit worldwide is being launched by Mary Baker Eddy, who staunchly defends the Christian view of the sanctity of marriage. In the decade after the American Civil War, reformers wanted to fulfill the promise of the American Revolution by giving both blacks and women the right to vote. Legal changes needed for woman suffrage seemed to shake the foundation of the male-female relationship. Disagreement over the implications of women's rights for sexuality triggered a political, legal, and religious battle for the soul of marriage. Crossing Swords explores the contentious free-love movement through the love lives, careers, and public statements of Mary Baker Eddy and Victoria Claflin Woodhull, who came from completely different backgrounds and had polar opposite views on marriage and sexuality. This thought-provoking story is a surprisingly relevant prequel to the similarly divisive social issues of our own era.
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Most helpful customer reviews 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. Five Stars By Marcia C. Really liked this book. Very interesting and well researched. 6 of 6 people found the following review helpful. Thought-provoking and eye-opening! A must-read! By Christine J. Driessen Outstanding book--great scholarship, and yet very readable! In fact, it is hard to put the book down once you start. Safronoff provides us a window on a discussion of morality in the 19th century that seems written for today. The juxtaposition of two intelligent, leading women of this period, and their unique and opposing approaches to morality, highlights the strengths or weaknesses of their views on marriage and sexual relations in a way that gives people today food for thought. Through the lives of each woman, their successes or failures, one gains a clearer perspective on the basis and rationale for moral laws. I highly recommend this book! I believe people from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages will find this book enlightening and thought-provoking! Who knew that Woodhull was the first woman to run for U.S. Presidency, twice? 5 of 5 people found the following review helpful. A book to add to your collection! By L. Ingwerson I've studied quite a bit about Mary Baker Eddy, but was clueless as to what Cindy Safronoff has unearthed and found it most helpful and informative. It's a very well researched book! See all 27 customer reviews...
CROSSING SWORDS gives the reader insights into the lives of two important 19th century American women who were ahead of their time. ... Those who enjoy reading books on 19th century American history, modern religious movements, or women's studies will really enjoy reading this book. -LISA COVINGTON, Manhattan Book How the opposing philosophies, the puritanical background of Mary and the unconcerned outlook of Victoria, played together in molding the American view of women in society comes alive in these pages. ... the vision of enlightened womanhood as it existed then is presented here, in clear and concise terms, with special attention in giving equal due to the almost opposing views of both the pioneers. -ROY T. JAMES, Readers' FavoriteTo say that Safronoff has done her homework is an understatement; the book is extremely well researched and documented... Crossing Swords has broad-spectrum appeal because Cindy Peyser Safronoff writes intelligently without being overly academic; however, scholars will find much to ponder and appreciate. Anyone interested in the suffragist andwomen's rights movements will enjoy the historical element, but the personal lives of Eddy and Woodhull are what make this book most enjoyable, thought provoking, and illuminating. -KRISTINE HALL, Reader ViewsCROSSING SWORDS tells the intertwined tales of Victoria Woodhull and Mary Baker Eddy two fearless American iconoclasts whose work on sex, love, and women s rights changed the course of American culture. Cindy Peyser Safronoff does a great job of bringing these fascinating women back to life in all of their brilliance and eccentricity for a new generation of readers. -DEBBY APPLEGATE, Pulitzer Prize winner for The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher CROSSING SWORDS is a fascinating look at two Victorian woman leaders in the female cultural war of their day. Mary Baker Eddy, the famed founder of Christian Science, battled Free Love while flamboyant Victoria Woodhull championed it. Safronoff deserves our praise for a well-crafted biography about two riveting opposites, who both fought fiercely for their avante garde rights, no matter how far apart, and never gave up. -MYRA MACPHERSON, author of The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age CROSSING SWORDS is a fascinating analysis of very modern-day theme: marriage vs. free-love and the role of women in society. Ms. Safronoff has unearthed a gem of a story that still resonates today! -SUZANNE VENKER, author of The Two-Income Trap: Why Parents are Choosing to Stay Home CROSSING SWORDS was deeply thought provoking. I felt like I was a bystander witnessing history happening. It invoked great compassion and respect for each of the women as they struggled to actualize their visions for mankind. -SANFORD C. WILDER, author of Listening to Grace: Unlearning Insights and Poems CROSSING SWORDS is a terrific book - a fine blend of excellent writing and superior research. Safronoff's twined intellectual biographies of Mary Baker Eddy and Victoria Claflin Woodhull brings two very different women together, between the covers of one book. So very different and yet so alike, they cross swords in this masterful account. --DR. LORRAINE MCCONAGHY, Public Historian, Seattle A remarkably even-handed exploration of the little-known debates — and occasional ironic convergences — between two charismatic 19th century women whose support for women’s rights was attached to very different views about marriage and sexuality. –STEPHANIE COONTZ, author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage About the Author A graduate of The Bush School, The Evergreen State College, and the University of Washington Genealogy and Family History program, author Cindy Peyser Safronoff combined her interests in historical research, female leadership, religious theology, and civic dialogs to explore this 1870s marriage debate. Safronoff currently divides her time between urban Seattle on the liberal Left Coast and suburban St. Louis, conservative crossroads of the midwestern Heartland and the southern Bible Belt. This biregional lifestyle has helped her better understand the conflicting viewpoints within American culture explored in CROSSING SWORDS.
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