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Young and Restless: The Girls Who Sparked America’s Revolutions – Author Talk with Mattie Kahn | New Labor Book Series #14

October 12, 2023 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm PDT

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Join Siena Chiang for a discussion with Mattie Kahn about her book, Young and Restless: The Girls Who Sparked America’s Revolutions, which recounts one of the most foundational and underappreciated forces in moments of revolution in America: teenage girls. 

Nine months before Rosa Parks kicked off the bus boycotts, Claudette Colvin was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was fifteen. In 1912, women’s rights activists organized a massive march in support of women’s suffrage. Leading them up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan was not one of the mothers of the movement, but a teenage Chinese immigrant named Mabel Ping-Hua Lee. Half a century before the better-known movements for workers’ rights began, over 1,500 girls—some as young as ten—walked out of factories in Lowell, Massachusetts, demanding safer working conditions and higher wages in one of the nation’s first-ever labor strikes.

We’ll discuss how girls have leveraged their unique strengths to organize and lay serious political groundwork for movements that often sidelined and discounted them. We’ll talk about what we can learn from this past, and how and why we should prevent repeating this history going forward, into today’s labor organizing and beyond. 


About the author

Mattie Kahn is an award-winning writer and editor. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Vox, and more. She was the culture director at Glamour, where she covered women’s issues and politics, and a staff editor at Elle. She lives in New York with her husband.

Praise for Young and Restless

“In Young and Restless, Mattie Kahn challenges the dismissive societal attitudes consistently pointed at the concerns and contributions of teenage girls, and proves that we are and always have been, at the heart of revolution. Everybody should read this book and understand that who we are taught to look to for leadership has been upside down for a long long time. Luckily, books like this move us closer to that world with every reader.”

—Ashley Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“In Young and Restless, Mattie Kahn treats girl activists with rigor and curiosity, and is clear-eyed in her examination of how we too often erase their social and political contributions from the historical record, iron over the ways their youthful preoccupations shape their engagement, and fetishize their girlhood in a way that makes their growth into adults more challenging. This is a really smart book.”

—Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author of Good and Mad


Recommended reading:

This event is recorded but not publicly posted.

The event is part of the “Author Talks | Learning About Labor and Organizing” series. 



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October 12, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm PDT
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