Unbought and Unbossed

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Unbought and Unbossed


Shirley Chisholm


Houghton Mifflin Company



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Brief Notes on Book

I own the first edition, given to me by Steve Tomashefsky, my then boyfriend, (now) husband, in February 1971. It has been a treasured volume in my library of feminist literature ever since.


The Hon. Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the US Congress. She also was a presidential candidate in 1972. "Unbought and unbossed" is her description of herself, a singularly courageous force for good and for justice in American governance and politics. She is also a unique role model, given her early courage in standing-up to an American world in which few women achieved any position of power or influence, much less in government. She died too young but, as more women have decided to engage in politics and seek government office, she has continued to be a role model, a half-century after she wrote this great guide to how to succeed. Vice-President Kamala Harris and many others have cited her as their inspiration. She has also been ever-inspirational for me, in my own social justice organizing, political work and governmental leadership.


Rebecca Sive




Shirley Chisholm, “Unbought and Unbossed,” Caxton Club Exhibits, accessed January 30, 2023, https://caxtonclub.omeka.net/items/show/38.