Book Reviews vision of feminist history encompassing all who have insisted on women's ability to speak in public. More generally, Hesse's book provides an eloquent argument for the importance of gender to the field of intellectual history. Historians have typically lamented that women have not been active participants in shaping intellectual history because they lacked opportunities for education or access to institutional positions and resources that would allow them to do this. Hesse contends that women have participated in philosophical inquiry, but often through alternative genres, such as the novel. She challenges a male-defined concept of "philosophy" and asks us to think about intellectual history in a new way, one that does not presuppose the exclusion of women. Hesse makes a strong case that the Enlightenment was shaped by women as well as men; however, I am less convinced by her argument that French republicanism was not inherently antifeminist. If the French Revolution paved the way for a "real liberation for women" (p. xv), it is curious that French women were not granted the vote until 1946--much later than in other Western countries--and did not gain full legal autonomy until even later. But Hesse's book raises critical questions
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
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