The women most crucial to the feminist movement
that emerged in the 1960's arrived at their commitment and consciousness in response to the unexpected and often shattering experience of having their work minimized, even disregarded, by the men they considered to be their colleagues and fellow crusaders in the civil rights
and radical New Left movements. On the basis of years of research, interviews with dozens of the central figures, and her own personal experience, Evans explores how the political stance of these women was catalyzed and shaped by their sharp disillusionment at a time when their skills as political activists were newly and highly developed, enabling them to join forces to support their own cause.
The long struggle for equal rights for women took shape in the 19th century and was resisted by conservative thinking about gender roles. The civil rights movement, which aimed to deliver the rights assured black Americans in the post-Civil-War amendments, reached its peak of activity in the 1960's.