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Crossing Swords: Mary Baker Eddy vs. Victoria Claflin Woodhull And the Battle for the Soul of Marriage by Cindy Peyser Safronoff begins with an overview of the evolution of culture and marriage laws in America, and from there explores nineteenth-century alternative relationship models. Following closely the lives of Mary Baker Eddy, nicknamed the “Boston Pope” and a pioneer in religious movements, and Victoria Claflin Woodhull, the first female candidate for President of the United States, an activist for women's rights and labor reforms as well as an advocate of free love, Cindy presents an overview of the birth of almost everything related to feminism. The publication of ‘Declaration of Rights and Sentiments,’ a milestone in women’s liberation, finding Christian clergy as women’s worst enemy, slave based culture and its effect on society, and other pioneering efforts by many stalwarts of the feminist movement find description in this 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.
Crossing Swords: Mary Baker Eddy vs Victoria Claflin Woodhull And the Battle for the Soul of Marriage by Cindy Peyser Safronoff is a thoroughly researched work. Whether it is women's suffrage or traditional value systems or other aspects of the nineteenth century American culture war, 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.