So Much To Be Done: The Writings of Breast Cancer Activist Barbara Brenner

CoverThe power behind the national organization Breast Cancer Action, Barbara Brenner brought an abundance of wit, courage, and clarity to the cause and forever changed the conversation. Brenner’s columns and blog posts, collected in So Much to Be Done, form a chronicle of breast cancer research and health care activism that is as inspiring as it is informative.

Edited by Barbara Sjoholm. Afterword by Anne Lamott.


Barbara Brenner was anything but silent. She embodied the spirit of Audre Lorde, who believed that ‘when I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less important whether or not I am afraid.’ Barbara Brenner reminded us that sometimes it takes ruffling a few feathers to dislodge complacency.

—Gayle A. Sulik, PhD, author of Pink Ribbon Blues

Barbara was the person who most influenced my own thinking and writing about breast cancer. Only now is the rest of the world catching up to where she was over a decade ago on critical issues: the limitations and harms of screening, the problem with pinkwashing, the conundrum of DCIS, the dearth of funds for metastatic disease, the need to merge breast cancer activism and environmentalism, the need to better track research. I owe so much to Barbara as a writer, as a thinker, as an activist, as someone living with breast cancer, and as a woman.

—Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter

A visionary like Barbara Brenner comes along so rarely, and when such a person has left a wealth of insightful commentary filled with brilliant analyses and trenchant wit, we are doubly fortunate. Social justice activists, breast cancer and consumer advocates, academics, feminists, and anyone else interested in how breast cancer intersects with other key environmental and women’s health concerns will find this edited collection of Barbara’s writings a treasure trove of tools and ideas for making this world a better place for all.

—Judy Norsigian, cofounder, Our Bodies Ourselves

Barbara transformed how health scholars and advocates think and act politically. Her pointed and often comical reflections on pink ribbon culture and her experience of living with ALS challenged her readers to ask difficult questions about well-intentioned generosity and compassion, both individual and corporate. A thinker and a doer, Barbara inspired us to move beyond passive skepticism and toward action to challenge the status quo of health funding, research, and care.

—Samantha King, author of Pink Ribbons, Inc.

So Much To Be Done: The Writings of Breast Cancer Activist Barbara Brenner edited by Barbara Sjoholm. University of Minnesota Press, May 2016. 272pp. ISBN 978-0-8166-9944-5, $22.95 (paper); $80.50 cloth ISBN 978-0-8166-9943-8 (cloth).


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