Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York

Sex Wars A Novel of Gilded Age New York Post Civil War New York City is the battleground of the American dream In this era of free love emerging rights of women and brutal sexual repression Freydeh a spirited young Jewish immigrant toi

Post Civil War New York City is the battleground of the American dream In this era of free love, emerging rights of women, and brutal sexual repression, Freydeh, a spirited young Jewish immigrant, toils at different jobs to earn passage to America for her family Learning that her younger sister is adrift somewhere in the city, she begins a determined search that carriesPost Civil War New York City is the battleground of the American dream In this era of free love, emerging rights of women, and brutal sexual repression, Freydeh, a spirited young Jewish immigrant, toils at different jobs to earn passage to America for her family Learning that her younger sister is adrift somewhere in the city, she begins a determined search that carries her from tenement to brothel to prison as her story interweaves with those of some of the epoch s most notorious figures Elizabeth Cady Stanton Susan B Anthony sexual freedom activist Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president and Anthony Comstock, founder of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, whose censorship laws are still on the books.In the tradition of her bestselling World War II epic Gone to Soldiers, Marge Piercy once again re creates a turbulent period in American history and explores changing attitudes in a land of sacrifice, suffering, promise, and reward.

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Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York

  1. Marge Piercy born March 31, 1936 is an American poet, novelist, and social activist She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Gone to Soldiers, a sweeping historical novel set during World War II.Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan, to a family deeply affected by the Great Depression She was the first in her family to attend college, studying at the University of Michigan Winning a Hopwood Award for Poetry and Fiction 1957 enabled her to finish college and spend some time in France, and her formal schooling ended with an M.A from Northwestern University Her first book of poems, Breaking Camp, was published in 1968.An indifferent student in her early years, Piercy developed a love of books when she came down with rheumatic fever in her mid childhood and could do little but read It taught me that there s a different world there, that there were all these horizons that were quite different from what I could see, she said in a 1984 interview.As of 2013, she is author of seventeen volumes of poems, among them The Moon is Always Female 1980, considered a feminist classic and The Art of Blessing the Day 1999 , as well as fifteen novels, one play The Last White Class, co authored with her third and current husband Ira Wood , one collection of essays Parti colored Blocks for a Quilt , one non fiction book, and one memoir.Her novels and poetry often focus on feminist or social concerns, although her settings vary While Body of Glass published in the US as He, She and It is a science fiction novel that won the Arthur C Clarke Award, City of Darkness, City of Light is set during the French Revolution Other of her novels, such as Summer People and The Longings of Women are set during the modern day All of her books share a focus on women s lives.Woman on the Edge of Time 1976 mixes a time travel story with issues of social justice, feminism, and the treatment of the mentally ill This novel is considered a classic of utopian speculative science fiction as well as a feminist classic William Gibson has credited Woman on the Edge of Time as the birthplace of Cyberpunk Piercy tells this in an introduction to Body of Glass Body of Glass He, She and It 1991 postulates an environmentally ruined world dominated by sprawling mega cities and a futuristic version of the Internet, through which Piercy weaves elements of Jewish mysticism and the legend of the Golem, although a key story element is the main character s attempts to regain custody of her young son.Many of Piercy s novels tell their stories from the viewpoints of multiple characters, often including a first person voice among numerous third person narratives Her World War II historical novel, Gone To Soldiers 1987 follows the lives of nine major characters in the United States, Europe and Asia The first person account in Gone To Soldiers is the diary of French teenager Jacqueline Levy Monot, who is also followed in a third person account after her capture by the Nazis.Piercy s poetry tends to be highly personal free verse and often addresses the same concern with feminist and social issues Her work shows commitment to the dream of social change what she might call, in Judaic terms, tikkun olam, or the repair of the world , rooted in story, the wheel of the Jewish year, and a range of landscapes and settings.She lives in Wellfleet on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with her husband, Ira Wood from

477 Reply to “Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York”

  1. Not as good as I expected I would recommend this book to young women 16 up who maybe don t know a lot about women s history It does make me want to know about these women s lives I imagine the truth is better than the fictionalization There s a lot of explicit sexual content in the book But even the sex was kind of dull I found the characters, who were mostly real historical figures like Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Victoria Woodhull, to be quite one dimensional The fictional part o [...]

  2. This book addresses a fascinating fifty year period and with admirable feminist verve Following the lives of women from various walks of life but equal commitment to furthering their autonomy and their political and economic goals, Sex Wars features fascinating characters from free love spiritualist and first woman to run for U.S president Victoria Woodhull to notorious and successful abortionist Madame Restell, to those founding mothers of the American women s movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton a [...]

  3. I was first introduced to Marge Piercy by a grad school roommate and i tore through all the books i could find written by Piercy up to that point I just discovered Sex Wars A Novel of the Gilded Age New York covering the lives of early suffragettes Susan B Anthony and the seemingly likable, tho less famous Elizabeth Cady Stanton sensationalistic first female presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull and her rather colorful family the fictional Jewish immigrant Freydeh Levin as well as crusader o [...]

  4. I enjoyed this one though it s not a book for the faint hearted, I would guess Here, the author tells the personal history of women that drove the womens rights movement in the United States and those who opposed them Intermixed, is the story of a woman searching for her sister who ends up going into business for herself by manufacturing condoms What I found most interesting about the account is the histories of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Victoria Woodhall, Anthony Comstock, and ot [...]

  5. I struggled thru the first half of this novel Kept telling myself it would get better It didn t After being introduced to a religious zealot that I had absolutely no interest in actually started skipping his chapters and Victoria Woodhull portrayed as a scam artist and early day hippie, I hit part two and finally called it quits Why Not only was I not enjoying or getting a feel for any of its characters the exception being the Russian immigrant Freydeh She alone has kept this novel from being on [...]

  6. Different title, different cover would serve this book better Piercy covered a lot of ground in this European immigration story Birth control, women s voting rights, poverty, and survival all mixed up in the teeming city of New York in the late 1800s Piercy jumps from story to story, character to character, and moves time up and back Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Vanderbilt, Sanger, Woodhull as well as fictional characters tell about this turbulent time I found it interesting and edif [...]

  7. I really enjoyed this book History unfolding in a novel format I read it around the time of all the election madness and it was a good reminder of how far we ve come, which gave me hope.

  8. I am so glad I read this book Marge Piercy was one of my favorite authors for awhile and I m thrilled to have again come back to her exquisite writing and storytelling especially for this story about suffragist beginnings And at a time as now, when I feel threats against women s equality it was powerful to read the words of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and I m inspired to read her essays and Susan B Anthony I knew little about Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President before women even h [...]

  9. Totally fascinating historical novel starring Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, the evil Anthony Comstock and the heretofore unknown to me Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States, in 1872 Well researched and dramatic, it shines light into the lives of these feminist heroines as well as the notorious Society for the Suppression of Vice head jerk Comstock, who was responsible for throwing hundreds of people into jail, costing people their lives, and conf [...]

  10. Got to this book via Joyce Carol Oates It s a roller coaster and the timing is sometimes confusing as Piercy skips around between and among years, primarily focused on the 1870s during the Gilded Age.Freydah Levin, a Jewish immigrant from the Pale, is sort of the focus She comes to NY with her husband Moishe who soon dies in an accident and adopts three Jewish street children who remain faithful to her She manufactures condoms in their tenement apartment and sells to local pharmacies and brothel [...]

  11. This was a captivating work of historical fiction taking place mostly in New York City during the Gilded Age, and focusing on women and their role in late 19th century society The novel is about one fictional character, a Jewish immigrant woman, whose story is interwoven with those of feminists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, and Victoria Woodhall, among others, and the conservative fundamentalist and anti feminist zealot crusder Anthony Comstock Great insights the free thinkers of the [...]

  12. This book was really amazing It made me realize we women had NO rights back in the day we were property of our husbands If we worked all our money went to our husbands and if you weren t married you were constantly working hard labor making very little money to survive The book takes place from the 1860 s through the early 1900s I really loved it because it is an historic fictional book almost entirely about how women lived and tried to fight for their rights in New York City Some of the fascina [...]

  13. Boy howdy, there sure were a lot of hookers during the Victorian Edwardian era And free love advocates, suffragettes, and home condom manufacturers.Enjoyable historical fiction, with slightly stilted dialog Read it in a public place and get strange looks.

  14. A novel of historical fiction taking place in post Civil War New York Each chapter is a year between 1850 and 1870 involving the same 5 main characters true life Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Victoria Woodhull, Anthony Comstock boo, hiss , and fictional character Freydah, an amalgam of a European Jewish female immigrant These are leaders of the suffragette movement, fighters for women s rights and contraception, and conversely the man still responsible for all the laws against pornogr [...]

  15. An interesting addition to our discussion group s reading list on women s suffrage As a novel, it added a richness to the lives we ve been discussing, and offered the element of Freydeh as a way to getting a better feel for the experiences of impoverished, urban immigrants which has otherwise been missing It was fun getting to see the bits of these lives that we can never really know historically like the sex lives of folks like Victoria Woodhull, Ben Butler, Theodore Tilton, and the mind of Ant [...]

  16. The perfect novel to bring together all the nonfiction that we have been reading for the Votes for Women reading and discussion group Although it includes the stories of historical figures Victoria Woodhull, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Anthony Comstock, it is Piercy s portrayal of the plight of the immigrant Freydeh that really brings this novel it s depth and allows us to see the atmosphere in which all these other historical events occurred.

  17. Raamatu tegevus toimub 1860ndate aastate New Yorgis, kodus ja j rgses Ameerikas, mil naised olid igasuguste igusteta ning oma abikaasa omandiks Autor esitab nii naiste iguste eest seisjate Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony ja Victoria Woodhull kui vastaste Anthony Comstock seisukohad l bi ajalooliselt tuntud inimeste Iga peat ki jutustaja on erinev isik Stiili poolest j b see kuhugi eluloo ja ilukirjanduse vahepeale.Elisabethi ja Susani osad olid natuke igavalt kirjutatud, j b mulje, et na [...]

  18. Even though I was riveted by this book, as a novel, I m only giving it three stars for a couple of reasons The fictitious part of the story was okay, but not great And, the author jumped around in time too much As a literary device, this worked well in the beginning of the book But once I knew the backstory of the main characters, I think the book would have been a better read if it had been told chronologically I had to flip back several times to figure out, What year are we supposed to be in n [...]

  19. I really wish the STAR rating on this thing had negative numbers because this book would definitely fall under a HORRIBLE category I made it a whole 30 pages before I was ready to throw this thing in a blazing fire The stories were intriguing, but I could not read another word of a manuscript that seemed as if it went straight from being written to being published.In just the few pages I read, the author constantly repeated EVERYTHING At one point, two of the characters are drinking two differen [...]

  20. I was very impressed by this novel by Marge Piercy I originally picked it up because the title was fun I m a bit naughty, I know but I was amazed by all the work that went into creating a fictional life based on real players in the changing tide of women s rights, immigrant s struggles, and censorship laws.The story revolves around Freyda, a Russian Jew barely surviving in the tenements of New York She adopts street children in danger of dying every single day, searches for her sister who arrive [...]

  21. A Booksquirm Book Club selection January s Assignment Chapters 1 2I was a little confused how chapter 1 and chapter 2 went together Upon further investigation, there seems to be 4 different main characters and each chapter is from the point of view of one of these 4 At the top of the page it does tell you which story within the story you are reading, so this may be helpful I m not sure how confusing this will be when reading the book in pieces like we are However, now that I have discovered the [...]

  22. Who owns the film rights to this Because if I were HBO or Showtime, I d be adapting this novel for a TV series RIGHT NOW It s like a Gilded Age Masters of Sex combined with Boardwalk Empire I want to see these characters on TV And soon I think now is the moment for this story As the Feminist movement gains some traction, the forces of Puritanism push back viciously Wait is this now or then Victoria Woodhull is one of the most interesting historical figures I d never really heard of and I want to [...]

  23. A historical novel of the early days of the women s movement, this book follows the exploits of four groups of people, only one of which was wholly fictional The narrative covers the period just after the civil war, and concentrates on the period of the Grant presidency There are Victoria Woodhull and her sister, Tennie Claflin, free thinkers and pioneers in that they were the first women to open a wall street brokerage and Victoria ran for president in 1872 They aligned themselves with the wome [...]

  24. Fictionalized account of Gilded Age New York, roughly 1870 s, in the battle for women s suffrage Each chapter is told from one of four characters viewpoints Victoria Woodhull spiritualist, stockbroker, and first female candidate for president , Elizabeth Cady Stanton leader in the suffrage movement , Anthony Comstock early crusader against pornography whose censorship laws still stand today , and the fictional Freydeh Levin Jewish immigrant to New York City The first three characters are based o [...]

  25. Books that keep me thinking long after I have finished the last page get stars from me Although I don t agree with all that these true characters thought and did, I believe that they made a mostly positive difference in U.S history I knew a little about Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but glad that the author really brought them alive in this work of historical fiction I checked and learned that the facts of their actions are correct and that their writings show the feelings portray [...]

  26. Sex Wars is authentic Marge Piercy politically engaged and unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of the early suffragist s sexual lives their affairs, their sexual passions, their frigidities Piercy s novel follows major players among the Seneca Falls suffragettes and the early women s rights movement Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Victoria Woodhull as well as some of the average women who might have benefited from their work, and the men who sought to destroy it Although the novel is [...]

  27. Marge Piercy knows how to find the facts and craft a mesmerizing story around them The setting is the last half of the 19th century New York, the topic is sex, gender and economics and the cast of characters include real people we all know a little about with a few fictitious ones thrown in for emphasis There s Elizabeth Cady Stanton intelligent, mother of 7, freethinking, irreligious and very sensual Susan B Anthony straight laced, strictly moral, a fierce supporter of marriage though unmarried [...]

  28. parts of this are beautifully written, parts are way too didactic i loved the way the novel follows these disparate characters and how their lives all eventually intertwine but there were many times when i felt like i was getting the same information again and again it is not as sophisticated a novel as i would have liked there was a lot of expository dialogue and some moments that were far too clever all that said, it was very engrossing and told a very important story it opened my eyes to some [...]

  29. This book was a fictional look at womens suffrage in the 1870s It followed 4 stories that were woven in and out of one another Some of the stories were based on actual persons Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony to name a few and one was based on a totally fictional person Oddly, when asked in my book group which story was best liked, most of us chose the fictional character.I thoroughly enjoyed this book I enjoyed reading about the early free thinkers upon whose shoulders I stand These women would no [...]

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