Book Review: Hotbed: Bohemian Greenwich Village and the Secret Club that Sparked Modern Feminism by Joanna Scutts

On a Saturday in New York City in 1912, around the wooden tables of a popular Greenwich Village restaurant, a group of women gathered, all of them convinced that they were going to change the world.

It was the first meeting of “Heterodoxy,” a secret social clubIts members were passionate advocates of free love, equal marriage, and easier divorce. They were socialites and socialists; reformers and revolutionaries; artists, writers, and scientists. Their club, at the heart of America’s bohemia, was a springboard for parties, performances, and radical politics. But it was the women’s extraordinary friendships that made their unconventional lives possible, as they supported each other in pushing for a better world.

Hotbed is the never-before-told story of the bold women whose audacious ideas and unruly acts transformed a feminist agenda into a modern way of life.


I cannot resist a book about the strong women who featured throughout history. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to learn more bout the women of Heterodoxy.

Hotbed is an extremely well-researched book. The author goes to amazing lengths to fit every piece of information in. I appreciated how the personalities of the different women shone through the book, instead of just a stoic retelling of the events they were involved in. The women were brought even more to life by the inclusion of their portraits.

As much as I felt the book was well-researched and I learned a lot, I did find it difficult to read. There was just so much information included that it felt overwhelming at times. Most days, I could only manage one chapter before I had to go put the book down and process everything.

Interested in learning more about the roots of feminism? Pick up your copy of Hotbed here.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.