Writing: books

Gendered Lives

Gendered Lives: Intersectional Perspectives
— Gwyn Kirk & Margo Okazawa-Rey.

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This book started out as two photocopied readers that we used in our classes at Antioch College (GK) and San Francisco State University (MOR) in the mid-1990s. We published it as Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspectives with Mayfield and then McGraw-Hill. In 2019 Oxford University Press is publishing a substantially revised 7th edition with this new title.

This compilation is really two books in one: 60 pieces by a range of authors and 12 overview essays by us that link this rich collection. We are concerned about the many challenges facing humankind, from gender-based violence, reproductive justice, and a lack of well-paying work to migration, environmental destruction, militarism and war. How will our society provide for its people? How will people share this overburdened planet? Genuine security and sustainability—at personal, community, national, and global levels—provide the wider framework for the book.

Greenham Women

Greenham Women Everywhere: Dreams, Ideas and Actions, from the Women’s Peace Movement 
— Alice Cook and Gwyn Kirk.

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We were inspired to write this book by the women we met through Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. This started in 1981 outside USAF Greenham Common in England, where NATO planned to site nuclear-capable cruise missiles. This started in 1981 outside USAF Greenham Common in England, where NATO planned to site nuclear-capable cruise missiles. The vitality of the peace camp was a dramatic contrast to the bleakness and dreadful purpose of the base—two opposing value systems literally on opposite sides of the fence. We interviewed women involved in this movement. We drew on leaflets and newsletters, personal conversations, our participation in workshops and organizing meetings. We explored what it means—emotionally, practically, and intellectually—to become activists, and the effectiveness of women’s nonviolent direct action.

Published in 1983 by Pluto Press in Britain and South End Press in the United States, this book is unfortunately out of print but available in libraries or through used booksellers.

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French translation
: Des femmes contre des missiles: Rêves, idées et actions à Greenham Common, transl. Cécile Potier (Paris: Éditions Cambourakis, 2016).

Japanese translationGurīnamu no onna tachi: kaku no nai sekai o mezashite, transl. Kondo Kazuko (Tokyo: Hachigatsu shokan, 1984).


Urban Planning

Urban Planning in a Capitalist Society
— Gwyn Kirk

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This book examines strengths and weaknesses of the British urban planning system from the 1940s to the 70s. People need affordable housing, decent livelihoods, efficient public transportation, nourishing food, and safe water supplies. Capitalist ventures focused on profitability will only meet these needs if the financial returns compare favorably to investing in commodities, manufacturing, mineral extraction, and trade—or if governments underwrite and intervene in the urban development process.  

 Published in London in 1980 and reissued by Routledge Library Editions in 2018.