Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

History General

Writing the Revolution

by (author) Michele Landsberg

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2011
General, Women's Studies, Feminism & Feminist Theory
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2011
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2011
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


When Michele Landsberg’s first column for the Toronto Star hit newsstands in May 1978 it was the first time a feminist interpretation of the news had made it into daily circulation in a Canadian newspaper. While not sure initially if she wanted to be the Star’s “woman columnist”, Michele tried to use her column as a voice for those who had none. The hundreds of letters that poured in – both those in support of what she was writing and those outraged by it – let her know that what she was doing not only mattered, it was badly needed.

For twenty-five years, Michele Landsberg chronicled the lives of women, their struggles and their achievements. She became an activist in support of women’s rights, childcare programs, education reform, rape crisis centres, women’s work and health, and many more hotly debated issues. Her columns were a force for social and legal change – women turned to her because they knew that they could count on her to tell the real story. In Writing the Revolution, Michele takes the best of those 3000 columns and uses them to reflect on the past, present, and future of women’s lives in Canada. While recognizing the success of the women’s movement, she knows the fight is not over. A feminist hero and an unflinching activist, Michele is an inspiration to the women who read her column, and to a passionate new generation of women who are fighting to see that the revolution continues.

About the author

Michele Landsberg began her career with The Globe and Mail in the 1960s and moved to Chatelaine Magazine in the 70s, under the editorship of Doris Anderson, before moving to the Star. She is the author of three best-selling books: Women and Children First, Michele Landsberg’s Guide to Children’s Books and “This is New York, Honey!”. She continues her work as an activist, and is a regular reviewer of children’s books on CBC Radio. Michele lives in Toronto with her husband, Stephen Lewis.

Michele Landsberg's profile page

Editorial Reviews

It's a fascinating read that put recent history into perspective for me. All I know is that she got a lot right. She advocated for causes like the right to abortion, better child programs, same-sex marriage and ending the war in Iraq, but she also put her personal life - her issues and experiences - from becoming a mother to surviving breast cancer out there, too.

Canadian Living "Life" blog

The book, and particularly the added commentary, serves as a reminder that despite the incredible advancements made by the women's movement we still have a long way to go before we fully achieve society-wide equality.

herizons Magazine

She brought legitimate left political cred to what began as a place in the "Women's section" and morphed over the years to front-section prominence. Long before she left the Star in 2003, Landsberg was renowned as one of the nation's clarion Second Wave feminists. She was the very model of the journalist-as-social activist, no mere recorder of the heady parade.

The Toronto Star

Writing the Revolution demonstrates how Landsberg took feminism to the masses with intelligence, passion, and wit, and illustrates the enormity of the role she played in changing the lives of Canadian women.

Quill & Quire

“I think of Michele Landsberg’s book as a clutch purse, in the sense that I tuck the gleaming thing under my folded arm, clutching it for safety and comfort and for the treasure it holds. Open it and jewels spill out: the stories of lives lived by women during feminism’s second wave. Love, humiliation, struggle, pain, small triumphs, great victories, all dressed in this great woman’s words imbued with the warmth for which she is famous. It isn’t the book of the year or the decade, it’s our own personal true story. “

Heather Mallick

In my books, she remains revolutionary.

Buried in Print

“The text educated me to what I had missed and reminded me of the battles we have won and those we continue to fight.”

Word on the Street (Toronto) Blog

As a writer Landsberg holds nothing back! Landsberg gave the female perspective, encouraging and supporting courage – a true Canadian hero.

Word on the Street (Toronto) Blog

Michele Landsberg's columns in the Toronto Star were the first of their kind in a daily newspaper - fearless and unabashedly feminist. Her book mines the best of these passionate pieces that gave women a voice where there was none. It's easy to see how Landsberg inspired an entire generation of women - and men, including husband Stephen Lewis, who never gives a speech without mentioning her influence on him.

NOW Magazine

Even more interesting is Landsberg's running commentary of back stories, details about sources, and other asides, fascinating additions that make this book much more than a mere collection of newspaper columns.

Quill & Quire

As a record of feminist organizing over the past fifty years, I doubt "Writing the Revolution" can be beat.

The Outlook on Books

The book is an eye-opening collection of some of the 3,000 columns she wrote for the Toronto Star from 1978 to the early 2000s in which she took women’s issues and turned them into human issues so fearlessly, doggedly and articulately that it still makes my head spin. From equal pay to sexual harassment at work, child care to false memory syndrome at home, from a tax on tampons to a pox on lap dancing, Ms. Landsberg passionately pulled apart each issue and then denounced politicians, judges and even the media if she thought they were holding women down.

The Globe and Mail

Landsberg wrote (and continues to write – in her prologues to each column) with clarity and passion. Writing the Revolution is enjoyable and thought provoking!

Word on the Street (Toronto) Blog

Reading her columns is sometimes difficult work, and rewarding for that very reason. One cringes, clenches, sometimes has to shut one’s eyes for a moment of respite before re-embarking down the page. But you end up caring.

The Toronto Review of Books

Writing the Revolution, Ms. Landsberg's passionate repository of wit, wonder and worriment offering her unique and unforgettable views upon those heavenly hellish years she spent as one of The Toronto Star's most influential and controversial voices.

"In Other Words" blog, The Globe and Mail

Landsberg’s passion for and hope for the future of feminism is inspiring and this book is essential reading, providing the kind of perspective that’s entirely necessary if feminists want to keep moving forward.

Pickle Me This