cover image Women Together, Women Alone

Women Together, Women Alone

Anita Shreve. Viking Books, $19.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-670-81910-2

Shreve ( Remaking Motherhood ) cogently discusses how the women's consciousness-raising movement of the 1970s, arguably the heart of the women's movement, altered life in the U.S. CR groups helped women uncover shared feelings of powerlessness, but also revealed the ``political nature'' of their problems and served as impor tant ``agents for change.'' Based on interviews with seven members of a New York City-based group 15 years after it disbanded (and augmented by interviews with 100 other women nationwide), the book carefully measures the success and failure of the movement. By giving women more choices in their lives, Shreve suggests, feminism spawned a generation of women so overextended with work and family obligations that they ``simply don't have any time left to devote to feminism or CR or activist issues.'' In the late '80s, such women are again suffering from isolation, unable to connect meaningfully with each other, she maintains. In a final chapter, ``Blueprint for a Second Wave,'' Shreve includes information on forming and sustaining CR groups and makes a convincing case for renewing the collective intimacy that CR groups provide. 20,000 first printing; author tour . (Aug.)