Barbara Lifton was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1934. Married in 1958, she and her husband, Norman Lifton, moved to Connecticut with their one-year-old son, Larry, in 1962, where they lived for 37 years. Her daughter, Diane, was born in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1965. After her husband announced his retirement from college teaching in 1999, they moved back to New York City and now live in Manhattan.
From 1976 through 2003 she was a litigator and specialist in labor and unemployment law. She is also a painter and musician, and has been an actor.
In 1989, after more than 20 years of activism in the anti-war, civil rights and feminist movements, Ms. Lifton thought she could finally "retire" from politics. It didn't work, because writers and pundits were saying that feminism was "over" because women were liberated and now could choose to go back to "nurturing." She decided that she had to write the story of the struggles of the women she worked with in the Second Wave feminist movement of the '70s, why it was successful, and why it is still desperately needed. The memoir didn't work at first, because it was a boring calendar of political events. After much struggle, Ms. Lifton now has written what she hopes is an instructive personal story of the "problem with no name," how she and her sisters in the movement recognized the problem and overcame it, and why it is still here. She hopes that it will help all of us realize that doing justice is hard work and must never end.