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Paperback Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace Book

ISBN: 0345366115

ISBN13: 9780345366115

Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year 1989Philosopher, mother, and feminist Sara Ruddick examines the discipline of mothering, showing for the first time how the day-to-day work of raising children gives rise to distinctive ways of thinking.

Customer Reviews

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Groundbreaking classic---essential reading

Stunning elegant unforgettable book, deeply moving, personally and politically crucial in many ways from which people with different perspectives will feel and learn. A genuine lasting contribution to philosophy and many other fields. This book has already been recognized as a groundbreaking classic. It will always be relevant and a point of departure for many fields and practices. It is beautifully written. By now it has proven to be constantly cited in many books and journals and conferences in many fields, and in countless probing conversations. It addresses peace work in a novel way. It addresses the underrated work of "mothering" (which in the book is called "maternal work" that the book argues can be done by anyone, not just "mothers", -- this work can be done by anyone who is committed to doing what the work entails, and the author welcomes others into this work) as the most challenging kind of thinking and practice, and as a form of philosophical thinking. On the way it situates its place in feminist critiques of Western philosophical thought in epistemology and discusses feminist debates, while also interweaving the author's own and others' anecdotal stories, also drawing on literature. The author invites discussion. She views all the topics and issues as not only worthy of further discussion, that she intends to initiate, but as crucial politically and for child-rearing and for freedom, respect and rights for women and for mothers. Some ideas: maternal work has traditionally been done by women; here is what the job entails--yikes--amazingly it includes arguably the most difficult mental/emotional work that is as challenging as any of the most difficult tasks in life (IF anything can be found that is as difficult) and as difficult and parallel to philosophical thought; women should not be defined as mothers--the concepts 'woman' and 'mother' ought not to be conflated, and look at our history and damage done from this conflation; the kind of thinking that ideally is required for maternal work could be studied and mined where useful to derive peace work. Maternal work in its ideal form or bare-bones form could be a useful place to look to inspire and construct peace work. Gratitude is due to women who throughout history who have done maternal work. Gratitude to whomever does maternal work. The book manages the difficult accomplishment of taking the point of view of the maternal worker and her subjectivity, and including children in the most compassionate ways because the maternal work, which is analyzed in the book, is arrived at by deep thought and research about what children need and about maternal love. This book is a tour de force.
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