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Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way

2014
Distributed by The Video Project, PO Box 411376, San Francisco, CA 94141-1376; 800-475-2638
Produced by Donna Zaccaro
Directed by Donna Zaccaro
DVD, color, 86 min.
Sr. High - General Adult
Feminism, Government, Political Science, Politics, Women’s History, U.S. History


Reviewed by Douglas Reed, Department of Political Science, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, AR

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 10/29/2014

Geraldine Ferraro’s distinction as a “first” in American politics may be her legacy, but her journey getting there is equally remarkable.

Much more than a standard biopic, Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way is deeply personal, providing rare insight into the experiences that cultivated Ferraro’s devotion to public service. The work ethic she gleaned from her immigrant parents permeated her life and career, even in the most difficult circumstances. When her father’s untimely death shook the family’s financial stability, her mother’s resolve held things together, inspiring Ferraro to seek an education and career rare for women of the time. After graduating from college, Ferraro put herself through law school at night and eventually landed a district attorney post in Queens. Ferraro’s work on crimes against women and children motivated her to run for public office. She served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, earning the respect of her colleagues and political rivals alike. In 1984, the Democratic Party chose Ferraro to run as vice-president alongside Walter Mondale, making her the first woman nominated for national office by a major party. Their defeat and her subsequent attempts at a U.S. Senate seat did not stifle Ferraro. She continued to practice law, worked on human rights and women’s rights causes, and served as a consultant and news commentator.

Highly recommended for academic and public libraries as well as courses in political science and women’s studies, Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way is an invaluable lesson on politics. Interviews with Ferraro, her family, and a host of public figures – President Bill Clinton, Secretary Hillary Clinton, President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush, Secretary Madeline Albright, and others – testify to the kindred spirit that connects public servants, regardless of their party affiliation.

Screened at festivals and universities throughout the country, Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way aired on the Showtime network in March of 2014 in honor of Women’s History Month.