The first book to take an honest, in-depth look at the difficulties and rewards of being a feminist mother and to ask prominent feminist daughters whether their mother's vision was successfully or unsuccessfully transmitted to them while growing up.Sisterhood, not motherhood, has been the focus of American feminism for the past twenty-five years. In fact, during the 70s many feminists viewed motherhood as a hindrance to women's progress toward equality, an attitude that alienated legions of potentially feminist women by ignoring--even disparaging--the needs and concerns of those who were mothers.Nevertheless, many of those women had daughters who now have come of age and are reshaping the women's movement to suit their needs. The passing of the torch has not been entirely smooth, however. As young women define an agenda of their own, they also find themselves having to assess the legacy of their foremothers--for better and for worse.In The Conversation Begins, Christina Looper Baker and her daughter, Christina Baker Kline, draw on talks with a diverse range of over sixty women of both generations, asking provocative, often painful questions in an attempt to bridge the gap between them. Revealing first-person narratives based on interviews with twenty-two sets of feminist mothers and daughters--including Paula Gunn Allen, Letty Pogrebin, Naomi Wolf, Barbara Ehrenreich, Marilyn French, Tillie Olsen, Joy Harjo, and many others--comprise the heart of this magnificent testament to the strength of American feminism and the bond between feminist mothers and daughters.