Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly, ardent opponent of the radical feminist movement, was known as one of the most right-wing, reactionary voices in 1970's American politics. For this reason I was surprised when John Taylor Gatto, one of the most anti-authoritarian, seditious educators writing today, recommended I speak with her saying, "She's not what the press has made her out to be." I asked her for an interview, she agreed, and as you will discover, there is nothing doctrinaire or preconceived in her view of education.

Not one to shrink from a challenge, Phyllis put herself through college, mothered six kids, earned both a Master's degree and a degree in law, ran twice for Congressional office, has written 20 books, has published a monthly newletter for 40 years, and is broadcast daily on 500 radio stations. She is the founder and president of the Eagle Forum and the Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund and, at 85, remains an active lecturer. When Phylis sees something lacking in the world she brings attention to it, or fills the need herself.

"Phyllis Schlafly has become one of the most relentless and accomplished platform debaters of any gender to be found on any side of any issue."
– Joseph Lelyveld, in the New York Times Magazine, April 17, 1977.

Interview Excerpts
Read the full interview :

"I believe that once you know how to read, the way you really learn something is to write about it. It’s not enough just to read about it; it’s only when you write about it that you really have a grasp of what you’re talking about… So I wrote a little book called, “A Choice, Not an Echo,” and published it myself — who would publish a book by some unknown Alton housewife, as they called me — and I sold 3 million copies…

"I grew up a very shy person. I wasn’t a leader… Some leaders are born, and I was not a born social person. I had to learn it all… Why did I have to learn it? Because I wanted to accomplish certain goals. How did I learn it? Basically by running for office…

"When I came home from high school my parents kept right on working. And I thought that’s what I was supposed to do… I think what I’ve done is to simply make use of all my time…

"Grievances are like flowers: if you water them they will grow. So little grievances grow into big grievances, and it’s so unfortunate! Everybody’s got problems, and there’s sin in the world, but move on and make your life what you want it to be!"


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