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CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: mary-geraghty@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

UI history professor to be featured on C-SPAN2 book program

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa history professor Linda K. Kerber will appear on an upcoming BookTV program reading from her new book, "No Constitutional Right To Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship." The program will be broadcast Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. CST on C-SPAN2, channel 53 on TCI cable in Iowa City.

Kerber's book has been lauded by such prestigious publications as "Kirkus Reviews," "The Boston Globe," "Newsday," and "The Chronicle of Higher Education."

"A brilliant gender analysis from one of the leading historians of early America," Kirkus Reviews said. "Kerber examines the legal understandings of gender and citizenship from a new perspective: while others have focused heavily on the privileges of citizenship, Kerber posits that it is actually women's exclusion from the obligations of citizenship that have perpetuated an inherently sexist legal system."

The book is written in a narrative style that allows Kerber to share the stories of women who fought for equal rights, from Abigail Adams and women of the American Revolution to suffragists and the leaders of the women's movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

"It is startling to realize just how late in the 20th century certain principles of equal citizenship were established," wrote Elizabeth Blackmar, a professor of history at Columbia University, in a review for "Newsday." "Though all American women got the vote in 1919, it was not until 1975 that the Supreme Court ruled that women could not be excluded from jury service. States claimed that by exempting women or making jury service voluntary, they were simply recognizing the primacy of women's domestic duties."

"By showing us how the reciprocities of duties and rights have been negotiated and changed in the past, Kerber invites her readers to consider new ways to realize the democratic goals of equal citizenship," Blackmar concludes.

Kerber is spending the semester traveling to other colleges and universities as a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, but is available for telephone interviews. To arrange an interview, call (319) 351-8446, and leave a message, which will be returned promptly.

For more information about BookTV or to view a sample of Kerber's program, visit the C-SPAN Web site at http://www.c-span.org/guide/books/

11/18/98