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Povich featured in Bethesda literary conference

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Published on: Thursday, April 25, 2013


Downtown Bethesda celebrates the diversity of modern literature by presenting the 14th annual Bethesda Literary Festival from Friday, April 19-Sunday, April 21, 2013. Managed and organized by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. (BUP), the festival will feature an array of local and national authors, journalists and poets, as well as writing contests and children’s events. All events are held throughout downtown Bethesda and are free.

The festival features Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author David Maraniss, National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Alice McDermott; New York Times bestselling novelist, Chris Bohjalian, executive editor at Bloomberg News and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amanda Bennett; New York Times bestselling authorKate Alcott, editor of The National Interest Robert Merry, and award-winning journalist Lynn Povich.


Lynn Povich is an award-winning journalist who has spent more than 40 years in the news business. After graduating from Vassar, she began her career as a secretary in the Paris Bureau of Newsweek magazine, rising to become a reporter and writer in New York. In 1970, she was one of 46 women who sued the magazine for sex discrimination, the first women in the media to sue. Five years later, she was appointed the first woman Senior Editor in Newsweek’s history. Lynn has written a book about that landmark lawsuit, its bittersweet impact on the women involved and what has--and hasn't changed. THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT will be published September 10 by PublicAffairs. 

Lynn became Editor-in-Chief of Working Woman magazine in 1991, and in 1996, she joined as East Coast Managing Editor, overseeing the internet content of NBC News and MSNBC Cable programs and personalities. In 2005, she edited a book of columns by her father, famed Washington Post sports writer Shirley Povich, called ALL THOSE MORNING...AT THE POST.

A recipient of the Matrix Award for Magazines, Lynn serves on the Advisory Boards of the International Women's Media Foundation and the Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. She is married to Stephen Shepard, who was Editor-in-Chief of Business Week magazine for 20 years and is now the Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism of the City University of New York. They have two children.


“As compelling as any novel, and also an accurate, intimate history of new women journalists invading the male journalistic world of the 1970s. Lynn Povich turns this epic revolt into a lesson on why and how we’ve just begun.” —Gloria Steinem

“A meticulously reported and highly readable account of a pivotal time in the women’s movement.” —Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle

“Povich’s in-depth research, narrative skills and eyewitness observations provide an entertaining and edifying look at a pivotal event in women’s history.” —Kirkus, which picked the book as one of the 6 Outstanding Biographies of Women


My book, THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, tells the story about how 46 young women at Newsweek filed an EEOC complaint in 1970 charging management with "systematic discrimination" against them in hiring and promotion." 

I was one of those women. Through the lives of several participants I show how personal experiences and cultural shifts led a group of well-mannered, largely apolitical women, raised in the 1940s and 1950s, to stand up for our rights—and what happened after we did. For many, filing the suit was a radicalizing act that empowered them to "find themselves" and stake a claim. Others lost their way in a landscape of opportunities, pressures, discouragements, and hostilities they weren't prepared to navigate.

We were the first women in the media to file a complaint, inspiring other women to follow suit. Our lawyer was Eleanor Holmes Norton and, it turns out, we were the first female class action suit.

THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT is a narrative account of our lawsuit, but it also tells the tale of young women working at Newsweek today, the kinds of obstacles they are facing and their confusion about why they're not getting ahead. After all, they are "post-feminists," the sex wars are over and we're all equal, so it couldn't be discrimination. When they discover our case 40 years earlier and meet us, they identify with our struggle and ultimately get interested in women's issues. Now they are proud to call themselves feminists. 

In the Sixties, there were women at Newsweek who saw the lay of the land (never getting promoted out of the research category) and left--women like Nora Ephron, Ellen Goodman, Susan Brownmiller and Jane Bryant Quinn. And there was Katharine Graham, the owner of Newsweek, who underwent her own form of consciousness raising. 

I talk about the women on the front lines at other news organizations whose careers were stalled or worse, and I talk about the beneficiaries of those cases, women like Gail Collins and Anna Quindlen, who acknowledge the courage and activism of their fore-sisters.

This is a book for my generation and for our sons and daughters. It is part history and part current events. Women have made a great deal of progress but equal rights, like civil rights, have yet to be won.

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