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Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights o

Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights o Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"I've been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I'm impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I'm any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am--and this ought to made very clear--I am a very serious woman."
 
For more than fifty years, Bella Abzug championed the powerless and disenfranchised, as an activist, congresswoman, and leader in every major social initiative of her time—from Zionism and labor in the 40s to the ban-the-bomb efforts in the 50s, to civil rights and the anti-Vietnam War movements of the 60s, to the womens movement in the 70s and 80s, to enviromnemtal awareness and economic equality in the 90s. Her political idealism never waning, Abzug gave her final public speech before the U.N. in March 1998, just a few weeks before her death. Presented in the voices of both friends and foes, of those who knew, fought with, revered, and struggled alongside her, this oral biography will be the first comprehensive account of a woman who was one of our most influential leaders.
Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom are both nationally recognized authorities on womens issues. Most recently, Levine is the author of Inventing the Rest of Lives and Thom is the author of Inside Ms.
Bella Azbug said, "I've been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I'm impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I'm any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am—and this ought to made very clear—I am a very serious woman."
 
For more than fifty years, Bella Abzug championed the powerless and disenfranchised, as an activist, congresswoman, and leader in every major social initiative of her time—from Zionism and labor in the 40s to the ban-the-bomb efforts in the 50s, to civil rights and the anti-Vietnam War movements of the 60s, to the womens movement in the 70s and 80s, to environmental awareness and economic equality in the 90s. Her political idealism never waning, Abzug gave her final public speech before the U.N. in March 1998, just a few weeks before her death. Presented in the voices of both friends and foes, of those who knew, fought with, revered, and struggled alongside her, this oral biography will be the first comprehensive account of a woman who was one of our most influential leaders.
"Abzug was certainly a major player in our change in attitudes in the second part of the past century [and] Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom give us a fascinating glimpse into [an] inspirational but undeniably peculiar period that is receding, all too quickly, into the past."—Carolyn See, The Washington Post
"A fabulous read about a breed of politician now largely extinct . . . Levine and Thom have crafted a history that brings to life one of the great political personalities of the twentieth century."—Alice Echols, Bookforum
 
"Abzug was certainly a major player in our change in attitudes in the second part of the past century [and] Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom give us a fascinating glimpse into [an] inspirational but undeniably peculiar period that is receding, all too quickly, into the past."—Carolyn See, The Washington Post
 
"[A] fluid, sharply edited book . . . Abzug was a force of nature, and the stories about her are consistently feisty."—Jon Dolan, Time Out New York
 
"During this 'historic' election year, let me just say what so many of us are thinking: I miss Bella Abzug. And Barbara Jordan. What I would give to see Bella toss one of her signature striped, oversized hats into the presidential ring. Or to hear Barbara Jordan debate an comer, to hear her intone the preamble of the constitution as she reminds us of the true meanings of 'equality' and 'justice.' If only big, bold Bella or big, bold Barbara were here to run . . . and win. So far my only solace has been the recently published oral history of Bella . . . The book is edited by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom, women with long histories of activism and scholarship in and about the womens movement in America."—Susan Davis,The News & Observer (Raleigh)
 
"This is like being a fly on the wall for some of the most important moments in political history over the past fifty years. Being a part of this conversation makes you not just appreciate Bella's fierceness, but want to emulate it."—Amy Richards, co-author of Manifesta and former colleague of Bella

"Bella was a radical, patriotic and passionate about transforming the system—with the courage to work from outside and the patience to work from inside. Like her life, this book radiates drama, humor, tactical brilliance—and heart. Bella mattered. So does this book."—Jane Fonda

"Stumped about what to do in this messed up world? Just get to know Bella Abzug, one of the most important activists of the twentieth century. By gathering the reminiscences of people who lived their personal and political lives right along with her—and sometimes had the courage to break the rules alongside her too—the authors have created a memoir in many voices that captures the suspense, humor, and contradictions of this great woman. Read this book and then ask yourself, What would Bella do?"—Gloria Steinem

"Bella Abzug didn't vet her opinions through consultants and polls. She wasn't a highly orchestrated pre-fab candidate sprung from a well-oiled multi-million dollar corporate machine. She was the real deal. Pro-peace, pro-worker, pro-women. Angry, authentic, grassroots, alienating and alive. And, she actually got elected. This book is a call to all of us, but particularly those in government to run and lead through their own moral steam rather than blowing more hot air."—Eve Ensler

"Bella Abzug is an important, inspiring piece of history. There's nothing we need more right now than this kind of cogent reminder of what it takes to make change in the halls of power—and what's at stake if we don't."—Lisa Jervis, co-founder of Bitch magazine

Review:

"Member of Congress and civil rights, antiwar and feminist activist, Bella Abzug (1920 — 1998) was one of the 20th century's greatest progressive leaders. Since she left only an unfinished memoir, two friends and colleagues (Levine wrote Inventing the Rest of Our Lives and Thom Inside Ms.) have stitched together an 'oral biography' of excerpts from Abzug's own writing as well as snippets of interviews with dozens of people, from her high school gym teacher to Jimmy Carter and Roe v. Wade attorney Sarah Weddington. Edward Kennedy recalls working with Abzug on the Freedom of Information Act, and Shirley MacLaine tells about Abzug accompanying her to a channeling session. Abzug emerges as a determined activist and savvy legislator, but prickly; the barrage of admiration is punctuated with occasional barbs: Ed Koch cites one of Abzug's two fellow congresswomen, Shirley Chisholm, as saying, 'Oh, that woman has no class.... That woman is so vulgar.' Historians and Abzug devotees will be thankful for Levine and Thom's labors, but the lack of narrative flow — with paragraph after choppy paragraph of recollections from luminaries — leaves one wishing for a more unified, coherent biography." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

The lengthy title does not cover all the roles that the feisty New York Congresswoman played. In this biography, Levine and Thom (original editors of Ms. magazine) present their interviews with other activists, politicians, her daughters, and some critics on Abzug's work for civil rights, feminist, Zionist, antiwar, and other causes. An Abzug chronology (1920-1998) and photographs of Bella growing up and in her many roles (and trademark hats) complement the text. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

"A remarkable work of oral history [and] a fond, provocative testament to a remarkable life."*
 
“A fabulous read about a breed of politician now largely extinct . . . Levine and Thom have crafted a history that brings to life one of the great political personalities of the twentieth century.”
—ALICE ECHOLS, Bookforum

“Incorporates . . . interviews with excerpts from the influential feminists unpublished memoirs to create a kind of conversation about the woman, the politician and the times in which she lived.”
—*SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS, Los Angeles Times

“Abzug was certainly a major player in our change in attitudes in the second part of the past century [and] Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom give us a fascinating glimpse into [an] inspirational but undeniably peculiar period that is receding, all too quickly, into the past.”
—CAROLYN SEE, The Washington Post

“[A] fluid, sharply edited book . . . Abzug was a force of nature, and the stories about her are consistently feisty.”—JON DOLAN, Time Out New York

“Explodes with the energy that Bella Abzug possessed.” —DONNA BRAZILE
 

Synopsis:

I've been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I'm impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I'm any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am--and this ought to made very clear--I am a very serious woman. For more than fifty years, Bella Abzug championed the powerless and disenfranchised, as an activist, congresswoman, and leader in every major social initiative of her time--from Zionism and labor in the 40s to the ban-the-bomb efforts in the 50s, to civil rights and the anti-Vietnam War movements of the 60s, to the women's movement in the 70s and 80s, to enviromnemtal awareness and economic equality in the 90s. Her political idealism never waning, Abzug gave her final public speech before the U.N. in March 1998, just a few weeks before her death. Presented in the voices of both friends and foes, of those who knew, fought with, revered, and struggled alongside her, this oral biography will be the first comprehensive account of a woman who was one of our most influential leaders. Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom are both nationally recognized authorities on women's issues. Most recently, Levine is the author of Inventing the Rest of Lives and Thom is the author of Inside Ms. Bella Azbug said, I've been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I'm impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I'm any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am--and this ought to made very clear--I am a very serious woman. For more than fifty years, Bella Abzug championed the powerless and disenfranchised, as an activist, congresswoman, and leader in every major social initiative of her time--from Zionism and labor in the 40s to the ban-the-bomb efforts in the 50s, to civil rights and the anti-Vietnam War movements of the 60s, to the women's movement in the 70s and 80s, to environmental awareness and economic equality in the 90s. Her political idealism never waning, Abzug gave her final public speech before the U.N. in March 1998, just a few weeks before her death. Presented in the voices of both friends and foes, of those who knew, fought with, revered, and struggled alongside her, this oral biography will be the first comprehensive account of a woman who was one of our most influential leaders. Abzug was certainly a major player in our change in attitudes in the second part of the past century and] Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom give us a fascinating glimpse into an] inspirational but undeniably peculiar period that is receding, all too quickly, into the past.--Carolyn See, The Washington Post A fabulous read about a breed of politician now largely extinct . . . Levine and Thom have crafted a history that brings to life one of the great political personalities of the twentieth century.--Alice Echols, Bookforum Abzug was certainly a major player in our change in attitudes in the second part of the past century and] Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom give us a fascinating glimpse into an] inspirational but undeniably peculiar period that is receding, all too quickly, into the past.--Carolyn See, The Washington Post A] fluid, sharply edited book . . . Abzug was a force of nature, and the stories about her are consistently feisty.--Jon Dolan, Time Out New York During this 'historic' election year, let me just say what so many of us are thinking: I miss Bella Abzug. And Barbara Jordan. What I would give to see Bella toss one of her signature striped, oversized hats into the presidential ring. Or to hear Barbara Jordan debate an comer, to hear her intone the preamble of the constitution as she reminds us of the true meanings of 'equality' and 'justice.' If only big, bold Bella or big, bold Barbara were here to run . . . and win. So far my only solace has been the recently published oral history of Bella . . . The book is edited by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom, women with long histories of activism and scholarship in and about the women's movement in America.--Susan Davis, The News & Observer (Raleigh) This is like being a fly on the wall for some of the most important moments in political history over the past fifty years. Being a part of this conversation makes you not just appreciate Bella's fierceness, but want to emulate it.--Amy Richards, co-author of Manifesta and former colleague of Bella

Bella was a radical, patriotic and passionate about transforming the system--with the courage to work from outside and the patience to work from inside. Like her life, this book radiates drama, humor, tactical brilliance--and heart. Bella mattered. So does this book.--Jane Fonda

Stumped about what to do in this messed up world? Just get to know Bella Abzug, one of the most important activists of the twentieth century. By gathering the reminiscences of people who lived their personal and political lives right along with her--and sometimes had the courage to break the rules alongside her too--the authors have created a memoir in many voices that captures the suspense, humor, and contradictions of this great woman. Read this book and then ask yourself, What would Bella do?--Gloria Steinem

Bella Abzug didn't vet her opinions through consultants and polls. She wasn't a highly orchestrated pre-fab candidate sprung from a well-oiled multi-million dollar corporate machine. She was the real deal. Pro-peace, pro-worker, pro-women. Angry, authentic, grassroots, alienating and alive. And, she actually got elected. This book is a call to all of us, but particularly those in government to run and lea

About the Author

Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom are both nationally recognized authorities on womens issues. Most recently, Levine is the author of Inventing the Rest of Lives and Thom is the author of Inside Ms.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374299521
Subtitle:
How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied Against War and for the Planet, and Shook Up Politics
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Editor:
Levine, Suzanne Marin; Thom, Mary
Editor:
Levine, Suzanne Braun; Thom, Mary
Editor:
Levine, Suzanne Marin
Editor:
Thom, Mary
Author:
Levine, Suzanne Braun
Author:
Levine, Suzanne
Author:
Thom, Mary
Subject:
General
Subject:
Legislators
Subject:
Social reformers
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Women
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States Politics and government.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20081209
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 16 Pages of Black-and-White Ill
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General

Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights o
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Product details 352 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374299521 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Member of Congress and civil rights, antiwar and feminist activist, Bella Abzug (1920 — 1998) was one of the 20th century's greatest progressive leaders. Since she left only an unfinished memoir, two friends and colleagues (Levine wrote Inventing the Rest of Our Lives and Thom Inside Ms.) have stitched together an 'oral biography' of excerpts from Abzug's own writing as well as snippets of interviews with dozens of people, from her high school gym teacher to Jimmy Carter and Roe v. Wade attorney Sarah Weddington. Edward Kennedy recalls working with Abzug on the Freedom of Information Act, and Shirley MacLaine tells about Abzug accompanying her to a channeling session. Abzug emerges as a determined activist and savvy legislator, but prickly; the barrage of admiration is punctuated with occasional barbs: Ed Koch cites one of Abzug's two fellow congresswomen, Shirley Chisholm, as saying, 'Oh, that woman has no class.... That woman is so vulgar.' Historians and Abzug devotees will be thankful for Levine and Thom's labors, but the lack of narrative flow — with paragraph after choppy paragraph of recollections from luminaries — leaves one wishing for a more unified, coherent biography." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
"A remarkable work of oral history [and] a fond, provocative testament to a remarkable life."*
 
“A fabulous read about a breed of politician now largely extinct . . . Levine and Thom have crafted a history that brings to life one of the great political personalities of the twentieth century.”
—ALICE ECHOLS, Bookforum

“Incorporates . . . interviews with excerpts from the influential feminists unpublished memoirs to create a kind of conversation about the woman, the politician and the times in which she lived.”
—*SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS, Los Angeles Times

“Abzug was certainly a major player in our change in attitudes in the second part of the past century [and] Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom give us a fascinating glimpse into [an] inspirational but undeniably peculiar period that is receding, all too quickly, into the past.”
—CAROLYN SEE, The Washington Post

“[A] fluid, sharply edited book . . . Abzug was a force of nature, and the stories about her are consistently feisty.”—JON DOLAN, Time Out New York

“Explodes with the energy that Bella Abzug possessed.” —DONNA BRAZILE
 
"Synopsis" by , I've been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I'm impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I'm any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am--and this ought to made very clear--I am a very serious woman. For more than fifty years, Bella Abzug championed the powerless and disenfranchised, as an activist, congresswoman, and leader in every major social initiative of her time--from Zionism and labor in the 40s to the ban-the-bomb efforts in the 50s, to civil rights and the anti-Vietnam War movements of the 60s, to the women's movement in the 70s and 80s, to enviromnemtal awareness and economic equality in the 90s. Her political idealism never waning, Abzug gave her final public speech before the U.N. in March 1998, just a few weeks before her death. Presented in the voices of both friends and foes, of those who knew, fought with, revered, and struggled alongside her, this oral biography will be the first comprehensive account of a woman who was one of our most influential leaders. Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom are both nationally recognized authorities on women's issues. Most recently, Levine is the author of Inventing the Rest of Lives and Thom is the author of Inside Ms. Bella Azbug said, I've been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I'm impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I'm any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am--and this ought to made very clear--I am a very serious woman. For more than fifty years, Bella Abzug championed the powerless and disenfranchised, as an activist, congresswoman, and leader in every major social initiative of her time--from Zionism and labor in the 40s to the ban-the-bomb efforts in the 50s, to civil rights and the anti-Vietnam War movements of the 60s, to the women's movement in the 70s and 80s, to environmental awareness and economic equality in the 90s. Her political idealism never waning, Abzug gave her final public speech before the U.N. in March 1998, just a few weeks before her death. Presented in the voices of both friends and foes, of those who knew, fought with, revered, and struggled alongside her, this oral biography will be the first comprehensive account of a woman who was one of our most influential leaders. Abzug was certainly a major player in our change in attitudes in the second part of the past century and] Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom give us a fascinating glimpse into an] inspirational but undeniably peculiar period that is receding, all too quickly, into the past.--Carolyn See, The Washington Post A fabulous read about a breed of politician now largely extinct . . . Levine and Thom have crafted a history that brings to life one of the great political personalities of the twentieth century.--Alice Echols, Bookforum Abzug was certainly a major player in our change in attitudes in the second part of the past century and] Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom give us a fascinating glimpse into an] inspirational but undeniably peculiar period that is receding, all too quickly, into the past.--Carolyn See, The Washington Post A] fluid, sharply edited book . . . Abzug was a force of nature, and the stories about her are consistently feisty.--Jon Dolan, Time Out New York During this 'historic' election year, let me just say what so many of us are thinking: I miss Bella Abzug. And Barbara Jordan. What I would give to see Bella toss one of her signature striped, oversized hats into the presidential ring. Or to hear Barbara Jordan debate an comer, to hear her intone the preamble of the constitution as she reminds us of the true meanings of 'equality' and 'justice.' If only big, bold Bella or big, bold Barbara were here to run . . . and win. So far my only solace has been the recently published oral history of Bella . . . The book is edited by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom, women with long histories of activism and scholarship in and about the women's movement in America.--Susan Davis, The News & Observer (Raleigh) This is like being a fly on the wall for some of the most important moments in political history over the past fifty years. Being a part of this conversation makes you not just appreciate Bella's fierceness, but want to emulate it.--Amy Richards, co-author of Manifesta and former colleague of Bella

Bella was a radical, patriotic and passionate about transforming the system--with the courage to work from outside and the patience to work from inside. Like her life, this book radiates drama, humor, tactical brilliance--and heart. Bella mattered. So does this book.--Jane Fonda

Stumped about what to do in this messed up world? Just get to know Bella Abzug, one of the most important activists of the twentieth century. By gathering the reminiscences of people who lived their personal and political lives right along with her--and sometimes had the courage to break the rules alongside her too--the authors have created a memoir in many voices that captures the suspense, humor, and contradictions of this great woman. Read this book and then ask yourself, What would Bella do?--Gloria Steinem

Bella Abzug didn't vet her opinions through consultants and polls. She wasn't a highly orchestrated pre-fab candidate sprung from a well-oiled multi-million dollar corporate machine. She was the real deal. Pro-peace, pro-worker, pro-women. Angry, authentic, grassroots, alienating and alive. And, she actually got elected. This book is a call to all of us, but particularly those in government to run and lea

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