When We Were Free to Be

  • From the Publisher
May 13, 2013
If you grew up or raised chil­dren dur­ing the era of mood rings and lava lamps, you prob­a­bly remem­ber Free to Be…You and Me” – the ground­break­ing chil­dren’s record, book, and tele­vi­sion spe­cial that debuted in 1972. Con­ceived by actress Mar­lo Thomas and pro­mot­ed by Ms.” mag­a­zine, it inspired gen­er­a­tions of girls and boys to chal­lenge stereo­types, val­ue coop­er­a­tion, respect diver­si­ty, and reach for any dream. In this live­ly col­lec­tion, thir­ty-two con­trib­u­tors explore the cre­ation and lega­cy of this pop­u­lar chil­dren’s clas­sic. The book offers an unprece­dent­ed insid­ers’ account of Free to Be’s” his­to­ry by the orig­i­nal cre­ators, activists, and edu­ca­tors who changed the land­scape of child­hood in schools, homes, toy stores, libraries, church­es, and syn­a­gogues nation­wide. Many were Jew­ish women at the fore­front of the wom­en’s move­ment, includ­ing Let­ty Cot­tin Pogre­bin, Glo­ria Steinem, Francine Klags­brun, and Bar­bara Sprung. More­over, a large pro­por­tion of Free to Be” kids lived in Jew­ish house­holds across the coun­try. Togeth­er, the book’s edi­tors and con­trib­u­tors com­bine per­son­al nar­ra­tive, cul­tur­al cri­tique, and his­tor­i­cal analy­sis to address how pro­gres­sive chil­dren’s media still speaks to fam­i­lies today. 

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