Thursday, May 6, 2010


A key figure in the women's rights movement, Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips' story is told in "A Measure Filled."

The book itself has an interesting history. Friends and supporters of Dr. Phillips had long encouraged her to write her autobiography, to document the history of the women's movement in the middle part of the twentieth century.

Dr. Phillips had started on the task, which remained unfinished when she suddenly became ill on a trip to Europe. She died in France without having completed the work.

Her long time companion, Marjory Lacey-Barker, wanted to complete the biography, but was overwhelmed by the volume of notes and the magnitude of Dr. Phillips' accomplishments. Ten years later she passed away, the biography still a work in progress.

Lisa Sergio used much of the original sections written by Dr. Phillips herself when she completed the manuscript. The result is a curious mix, a biography that reads in places like an autobiography.

Several years ago IFBPW (The International Federation of Business and Professional Women) republished the book. Copies can also be obtained, at a reasonable cost, through a rare book search on the internet.

I've bought several copies -- and passed them on to friends -- for under $20. The copy I treasure most bears the bold signature of Lisa Sergio.

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