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Law, Gender, and Injustice A Legal History of U.S. Women by Joan Hoff

Law, Gender, and Injustice A Legal History of U.S. Women


Law, Gender, and Injustice A Legal History of U.S. Women by Joan Hoff

In this widely acclaimed landmark study, Joan Hoff illustrates how women remain second- class citizens under the current legal system and questions whether the continued pursuit of equality based on a one-size-fits-all vision of traditional individual rights is really what will most improve conditions for women in America as they prepare for the twenty-first century. Concluding that equality based on liberal male ideology is no longer an adequate framework for improving women's legal status, Hoff's highly original and incisive volume calls for a demystification of legal doctrine and a reinterpretation of legal texts (including the Constitution) to create a feminist jurisprudence.


A brilliant, original, and thought-provoking book must reading for anyone interested in the full emancipation of women.

-Ms. Magazine A fascinating social history of women's rights, centered on a lengthy and discouraging series of constitutional confrontations .... a remarkably complete accounting of a historical trail that shape us all .... Law, Gender, and Injustice is an elegant example of the very best in feminist theorizing.

-Patricia J. Williams,Women's Review of Books Joan Hoff's legal history of U.S. women is a provocative, comprehensive, and realistic reinterpretation of women's legal status during the entire period of U.S. history. The book is sure to stimulate controversial reassessments of women's experience with the legal system.

-Mary Frances Berry,Geraldine R. Segal Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania Requisite for establishing women's legal history as a field. . . . Hoff's work is pivotal for both its conceptualization of the issues and its periodization of the field. . . . In contending with law as it was as well as with law as it is and ought to be, Hoff not only synthesizes recent scholarship, but she also charts new territory especially with regard to a chronological framework.

-Norma Basch,The Journal of Women's History

About the Author

Joan Hoff is Professor of History at Indiana University, Bloomington, former Executive Secretary of the Organization of American Historians, and coeditor of the international Journal of Women's History.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 1994


Joan Hoff

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New York University Press


580 pages


Constitutional & administrative law



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