In 1972, Marlo Thomas and the Ms. Foundation for Women created the book/album Free To Be...You and Me to promote gender neutrality and the idea that anyone of any race/color/creed could grow up to be anything they imagine. Its success resulted in a 1974 TV special that featured many of the same performers (Alan Alda, Mel Brooks, Carol Channing) spreading the message of equality through song, poetry, skits and at least one slightly-disturbing (in retrospect) puppet sketch. Was the endeavor nothing but pie-eyed optimism and naivete? Cultural historian Lori Rotskoff examines the legacy of Free To Be in her book, When We Were Free to Be. Rotskoff discusses and signs copies of her book at 7 p.m. tonight at Left Bank Books Central West End Location (399 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). Admission is free.
Mon., Jan. 14, 2013