Pedestals and Podiums: Utah Women, Religious Authority, and Equal Rights

Martha Sonntag Bradley, Author . Signature Books $39.95 (584p) ISBN 978-1-56085-189-9

A history professor at the University of Utah and author of the award-winning book Four Zinas , Bradley offers a thorough, sensitive account of Mormon-dominated Utah's bitterly explosive International Women's Year (IWY) conference in 1977 and the ensuing battle over the Equal Rights Amendment. Her research draws from rich and plentiful archives and extensive oral history interviews with LDS women who lived through these turbulent events. Bradley herself attended the IWY conference in Utah, which was a catalyzing event for her own consciousness as a woman, so she writes with the rigor of a scholar but the insight of a firsthand participant in the event she chronicles. A skilled historian and excellent writer (she even makes lists of participants at conferences sound interesting), Bradley's personal bias in favor of the ERA is present but muted. She remains largely evenhanded in portraying both sides of a charged altercation between LDS authority figures and women struggling to balance their faith and devotion to their religion with their political convictions as feminists. Her book is a vital chapter in Mormon history, American political history and women's history. It will also strike a powerful chord with anyone who has felt torn between religious authority and personal conviction. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
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