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  • Published: 15 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780670079490
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $34.99
Categories:

Vida

A woman for our time




Vida Goldstein was an advocate for women's rights, a campaigner for peace, fought for the distribution of wealth, and a trail-blazer who provided leadership and inspiration to innumerable people.

Blazing her trail at the dawn of the twentieth century, Vida Goldstein remains Australia’s most celebrated crusader for the rights of women. Her life – as a campaigner for the suffrage in Australia, Britain and America, an advocate for peace, a fighter for social equality and a shrewd political commentator – marks her as one of Australia’s foremost women of courage and principle.

Vida first came to national prominence as the first woman in the Western world to stand for a national Parliament, in Victoria, for the Senate, in 1903. As a fighter for equal rights for women, and as a champion of social justice, she quickly established a pattern of working quietly against men’s control of Australian society. Her work for the peace movement and against conscription during the heightened emotions of the First World War showed her determination to defy governments in the name of fairness and equity.

Vida came to adulthood when Australia was in the process of inventing itself as a new nation, one in which women might have opportunities equal to those of men. Her work for her own sex, especially her battles for equality in politics, illuminated issues that persist to this day.

Jacqueline Kent has written acclaimed biographies of Julia Gillard, pianist and social activist Hephzibah Menuhin, and pioneer book editor Beatrice Davis.

  • Published: 15 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780670079490
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $34.99
Categories:

About the author

Jacqueline Kent

Jacqueline Kent was born in Sydney and grew up there and in Adelaide. Originally trained as a journalist and broadcaster, she has also been a book editor and a reviewer for numerous publications, and has a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney. As well as biography and general social history, she has written fiction for young adults. A Certain Style: Beatrice Davis, A Literary Life won the 2002 National Biography Award and the Nita B. Kibble Award. An Exacting Heart: The Story of Hephzibah Menuhin won the 2009 Nita B. Kibble Award. Beyond Words, A Year with Kenneth Cook was published to acclaim in 2019. She lives in Sydney.

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Praise for Vida

Jacqueline Kent’s absorbing biography, is packed with illuminating historical detail from Goldstein’s life and times. An energetic teacher, an inspired writer and magazine publisher, and a devoted Christian Scientist, Goldstein turned down all suitors—including the dashing John Monash—and pursued her own path. Goldstein became an internationally celebrated feminist figure and a staunch ally of the suffragettes. She died four years after the end of WWII—a war that she, as a pacifist, saw coming in the mess of WWI. With her progressive socialist beliefs and armed with a calm inner strength, she is a visionary woman for our times—anyone trying to make sense of the misogyny directed at the Julia Gillard prime ministership, for example, would do well to read this book.

Julia Taylor, Bookseller + Publisher

I am a progressive politician

Vida Goldstein

Is Vida a woman for our time, as the title claims? I think Kent has proved that she is.

Kathy Gollan, Newtown Review of Books

Kent shows Goldstein as a pioneer who worked tirelessly for all her 80 years and lived a full and, for her time,, unusual life. Through exploring the details of Goldstein's background and the way she was perceived, Kent seeks to answer why we have not heard more about her. Kent has been thorough with her research, and the inclusion of pertinent correspondence and speeches highlight Goldstein's voice, which is warm and strong, with a striking contemporary feel. Kent draws learned and sometimes depressing parallels between then and now, and the text is punctuated with her funny asides and opinions about the situations Goldstein found herself in.

Louise Swinn, The Saturday Paper

Inspirational.

Australian Womens Weekly

This book is extraordinary not just because of the achievements of Vida Goldstein but that these occurred more than 100 years ago. Jacqueline Kent reminds the reader of how far the position of women in society has advanced, particularly their right to vote and to be treated equally, but at the same time highlights that many of the challenges faced by Vida all those years ago remain today.

Vittoria Bon, Sunday Herald Sun

Discover more

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Discovering Vida

Jacqueline Kent on the inspiration behind her book about an extraordinary woman, Vida.

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Introducing Vida Goldstein

Advocate for women's rights, campaigner for peace and genuine trailblazer for equality.

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