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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
The Essential Ellen Willis

Sara Marcus

University of Minnesota Press

This section contains five chapters written during the 1960s. The first chapter chronicles the author’s transformation from an introverted, highly intelligent coed who was terrified to challenge the “rules” to a furious and fully conscious woman who had never seen so clearly, focusing on her discovery in the newly resurgent feminism an activist and intellectual home base. The second chapter turns a literary-critical eye on one of the most enigmatic figures in pop, Bob Dylan, dissecting his protean mythologies and shifting styles. The third chapter draws aside the beaded curtain of counterculture idealism to reveal the Woodstock Festival as an outsize concert-promotion gambit gone haywire, a human disaster narrowly averted by the unsung efforts of locals, volunteers, and the Hog Farm commune. The last two chapters deal with the popular theory of consumerism in relation to women and an 1969 account of a New York state legislature’s abortion hearing that was all male except for one nun.

Keywords:   feminism, Ellen Willis, Bob Dylan, Woodstock Festival, consumerism, women, New York, abortion

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