“A moving reminder that the women’s movement was and is ardently pro-child. These fascinating reminiscences and timely essays about what still needs doing to make our children truly ‘free to be’ will have you singing the songs again–or discovering the joy of learning them.”

Stephanie Coontz, author of A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s

on When We Were Free to Be


LORI ROTSKOFF is a cultural historian, writer, educator, and public speaker specializing in childhood and youth, women’s and gender studies, memoirs and narrative nonfiction, and arts and culture. After majoring in history at Northwestern University and working for a year at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, DC, she entered graduate school in American Studies at Yale, where she earned a Ph.D. in 1999.  She has taught undergraduates at Yale and Sarah Lawrence College, and designed and taught a seminar class for adults at the Barnard Center for Research on Women from 2005 to 2015.  Currently, she leads independent book groups and classes in literature and cultural history in New York City, and teaches at the 92nd Street Y, the Scarsdale Adult School, and the Larchmont / Mamaroneck Continuing Education program.

Lori Rotskoff is co-editor, with Laura L. Lovett, of the anthology When We Were Free to Be:  Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It Made, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2012.   Her previous book, Love on the Rocks: Men, Women, and Alcohol in Post-World War II America (2002) was named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice magazine and the American Library Association.

Lori’s book reviews have appeared in the Women’s Review of Books; the Chicago Tribune; Brain, Child:  The Magazine for Thinking Mothers; Reviews in American History;  and the Journal of American History. She has received fellowships and research grants from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Historical Society, the Sophia Smith Collection, and the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

She also serves on the Board of Directors of Cool Culture, a non-profit organization that provides 50,000 low-income families with free access to 90 museums, gardens, zoos, and other cultural institutions in New York City. She is also an Advisory Board member of La Femme Theatre Productions.  She lives in Larchmont, New York with her husband and two sons.