The Book in Common project provides a wide variety of resources for those who are interested in the book and the many issues that the book raises.

If you have ideas to contribute, please send them to Sara E. Cooper, 2016-17 Book in Common Faculty Liaison and Professor of Spanish.

Resources for Classroom Use of My Life on the Road, by Gloria Steinem

All instructors are encouraged to find ways to incorporate portions of the Book in Common, ideas addressed in the book, or the book in its entirety, within their courses this academic year. Among the resources you will find synopses, discussion questions, and activities for each chapter-- in the hopes that this might help you decide how to best include My Life on the Road. New material will be posted every week or two, until all chapters are covered. Feel free to take liberally, and/or to offer additional materials to be posted.

Chapter Synopses, discussion questions, and activities for each chapter are hosted on the Faculty Development website here.

3 Book Club Questions for My Life on the Road

(In case you want something much less involved! Borrowed from the Pin the Map Project

1. In the book. Gloria mentions how her accomplishments have often been attributed to her beauty, a hurtful accusation that would continue into her old age.” As a woman, do you feel that beauty and sexuality affects how your work is received?

2. Gloria says that if she had to pick anywhere to hang out, it will always be a bookstore. What’s your favorite place to spend time?

3 Throughout the book, Gloria refers to her time in India as life defining. What trip have you taken that you consider life changing?

Resources on author Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, editor, and feminist activist. In 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine, and she remained one of its editors for fifteen years. In 1968, she helped found New York magazine, where she was a political columnist and wrote feature articles. Her books include the bestsellers Revolution from Within, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, Marilyn: Norma Jeane, and As if Women Matter (published in India). Steinem has received the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award, the Front Page and Clarion awards, the National Magazine Award, the Women’s Sports Journalism Award, the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations, the James Weldon Johnson Award for Journalism, and many others. In 2013, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. (Borrowed from the Random House website for My Life on the Road)

Gloria Steinem’s official website

National Women’s History Museum’s Biography of Gloria Steinem

Jewish Women’s Archive Encyclopedia entry on Gloria Steinem

PBS interview of Steinem for program No Safe Place: Violence Against Women (transcript)

NPR’s Fresh Air interview of Steinem “Feminist Gloria Steinem Finds Herself ‘Free of the Demands of Gender’(transcript and podcast link)

Interview with Gloria Steinem from HBO Documentary film “Gloria: In Her Own Words”(transcript)

3:17 min. video of Steinem saying “Why You Should Be a Feminist.” Beaucoup photos of Steinem and movement highlights “back in the day”; some pithy quotes; remembrance of Steinam’s “aha” moment at a pro-choice event. Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year 2011

14:03 minute TEDxWomen TED event. Steinem talks about the aging process as becoming more like ourselves. She reflects on her own process of aging, her writing, stereotypes, biases and the feminist movement. She is joined by Salamishah Tillet, a feminist activist, academic and writer.

Book Reviews for My Life on the Road, by Gloria Steinem


“Steinem’s causes have remained unchanged – reproductive control, violence against women, civil rights and social justice come at the top of the list, “helping people to help themselves”. Her battlefield is global. Unlike some, she has never recanted, changed sides, expressed regret or given up. … In her ninth decade, as this book demonstrates, she is truer to herself and her causes than she has ever been.” The Guardian

“This legendary feminist makes a compelling case for traveling as listening: a way of letting strangers’ stories flow, as she puts it, ‘out of our heads and into our hearts.’”People*

“Like Steinem herself, [My Life on the Road] is thoughtful and astonishingly humble. It is also filled with a sense of the momentous while offering deeply personal insights into what shaped her.”O: The Oprah Magazine*

“[Steinem’s] new book is a lyrical meditation on restlessness and the quest for equity that has taken her from the women-only rail cars of India to myriad university campuses where she has helped generations of women and men rally their collective voices. . . . Part of the appeal ofMy Life is how Steinem, with evocative, melodic prose, conveys the air of discovery and wonder she felt during so many of her journeys. . . . Whatever one’s politics, such candor draws you in. And as the country continues to struggle with painful questions about race relations, reproductive rights and the plight of immigrants, the lessons imparted in Life on the Road offer more than a reminiscence. They are a beacon of hope for the future.”USA Today*  

My Life on the Road, Ms. Steinem’s first book in more than twenty years, is a warmly companionable look back at nearly five decades as itinerant feminist organizer and standard-bearer. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to sit down with Ms. Steinem for a casual dinner, this disarmingly intimate book gives a pretty good idea, mixing hard-won pragmatic lessons with more inspirational insights.”The New York Times*

“Steinem beautifully illustrates how her perpetual motion has shaped her professional life. . . . [She] has gained wisdom from cabdrivers and fellow airplane passengers, and gotten story tips from strangers at rural diners and truck stops. . . . Steinem’s life has been so remarkable that her memoir would have been fascinating even without a central theme, but her decision to use travel as a thematic thread was a smart one.”The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)*

“Steinem rocks. My Life on the Road abounds with fresh insights and is as populist as can be. . . . Honoring its title, My Life on the Road ranges around subject-wise. One minute Steinem is writing about stewardesses on the shuttle, the next women who taught Gandhi. Now she’s railing against Betty Friedan, whose focus on white middle-class feminism Steinem argues damaged the movement. Still later she’s celebrating her friendships with Native American women, whom she sees as guides into the future. . . . Go, Steinemite!”The Boston Globe*

“In person and in her writing, Steinem exudes a rare combination of calm, humility and honesty about her weaknesses that explains all she has accomplished and why she’s become the figurehead she has. . . . Her secret appears to be a surprising willingness to be open to learning from her incredibly varied audiences. . . . [This is] a memoir—but really, it’s a lens through which to see a great many people, a vessel for their stories, a mouthpiece to share them.”Jezebel*

“It’s amazing to have a lifelong heroine who is also one of my favorite writers. Gloria Steinem is a deeply revolutionary woman. She steered us through the contentious years of the women’s movement without losing her humanity or her wonderful sense of humor. She changed America in a fundamental way without being damaged by it or losing her joy. My Life on the Road is filled with beautifully told stories of the people she has spoken with and listened to, been changed by, helped organize, got radicalized by, could get lost in, could get found in. It is soul material, human and political, funny and touching, deeply spiritual. I began it again the day after I finished.”—Anne Lamott*

“Rarely do women have the opportunity to travel as Steinem has done—living a life full of radical adventure. Everywhere she goes, she carries with her the vitality of democracy, of freedom for women and men, and her profound love of justice. Now she offers us the good fortune of journeying with her. My Life on the Road is an inspiring work, a call for action. Steinem shares her life as a global freedom fighter, inviting readers to continue the journey—and the struggle.”—bell hooks*

My Life on the Road is a personal, beautiful look at the deceptively radical act of travel and how it formed one of our most important voices for human rights. By delving deeper into her own thrilling story, Steinem shows us that we all have a fighter inside us—we need only pack our bags and follow her.”—Lena Dunham*

“Countless times, I had to put Gloria Steinem’s new book down and allow an explosive truth she had just revealed to roll through me. And they all arrived—page after page—in the most personal, unexpected ways. I won’t be the same person after having read My Life on the Road.”—Jane Fonda*

“Gloria Steinem’s new book is a lightning rod to the head and heart: stimulating, no, shocking us to get up out of our easy chairs and do something meaningful with our lives—to hit the road. Women will read My Life on the Road, but men must.”—James Patterson*

“Gloria Steinem’s lightness of being combined with her complete seriousness, her love for words and her call for actions, remind us to celebrate her as one of the most important women of our time.”—Diane von Furstenberg*

*Blurb from the hardback edition of My Life onthe Road