By: Selby McPhee
Atmosphere Press, 2022
Making It Up examines the lives of a collection of girls born in wartime, raised in the 1950s to be good wives and mothers, who graduated from Vassar College in 1965 to find a world turning upside down with social revolution. How did those young women on the cusp of social change redefine themselves, without role models, to meet a new age of opportunity for women?
McPhee tells stories of classmates following their own curiosity through doors opening to then. She tells of Debbie, who in a stellar academic career gave women tools to negotiate workplaces slow to adapt to their presence; Elizabeth, who fell in love with computers and helped define a brand new field; Sylvia, who used a law degree to fight for health equity. All of them were midwives to change
The revolutions of the 1960s are now a part of contemporary history. But change keeps happy, and the work to adapt to it is never done. New generations will find inspirational models of ingenuity, flexibility, and just plain guts in these women who figured out how to thrive when the very definition of what it was to be a woman was tossed into the air.
About the Author
Selby McPhee was a staff writer and editor at schools, universities, and other educational institutions, including Tufts University and the National Association of Independent Schools, where she was marketing vice president. A freelance writer, McPhee has published articles in a variety of print and online publications. Her first book, Live Crazy, is a family memoir. McPhee lives with her husband in Maryland.