Marie Equi explores the fiercely independent life of an extraordinary woman. Born of Italian-Irish parents in 1872, Marie Equi endured childhood labor in a gritty Massachusetts textile mill before fleeing to an Oregon homestead with her first longtime woman companion, who described her as impulsive, earnest, and kind-hearted. These traits, along with courage, stubborn resolve, and a passion for justice, propelled Equi through an unparalleled life journey.
Equi self-studied her way into a San Francisco medical school and then obtained her license in Portland to become one of the first practicing woman physicians in the Pacific Northwest. From Pendleton, Portland, Seattle and beyond to Boston and San Francisco, she leveraged her professional status to fight for woman suffrage, labor rights, and reproductive freedom. She mounted soapboxes, fought with police, and spent a night in jail with birth control advocate Margaret Sanger. Equi marched so often with unemployed men that the media referred to them as her army. She battled for economic justice at every turn and protested the U.S. entry into World War I, leading to a conviction for sedition and a three-year sentence in San Quentin. Breaking boundaries in all facets of life, she became the first well-known lesbian in Oregon, and her same-sex affairs figured prominently in two U.S. Supreme Court cases.
Marie Equi is a finely written, rigorously researched account of a woman of consequence, who one fellow-activist considered “the most interesting woman that ever lived in this state, certainly the most fascinating, colorful, and flamboyant.” This much anticipated biography will engage anyone interested in Pacific Northwest history, women’s studies, the history of lesbian and gay rights, and the personal demands of political activism. It is the inspiring story of a singular woman who was not afraid to take risks, who refused to compromise her principles in the face of enormous opposition and adversity, and who paid a steep personal price for living by her convictions.
The French auteur Robert Bresson, director of such classics as Diary of a Country Priest (1951), The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962), The Devil, Probably (1977), and L’Argent (1983), has long been thought of as a transcendental filmmaker preoccupied with questions of grace and predestination and little interested in the problems of the social world. This book is the first to view Bresson’s work in an altogether different context. Rather than a religious—or spiritual—filmmaker, Bresson is revealed as an artist steeped in radical, revolutionary politics.
Situating Bresson in radical and aesthetic political contexts, from surrealism to situationism, Neither God nor Master shows how his early style was a model for social resistance. We then see how, after May 1968, his films were in fact a series of reflections on the failure of revolution in France—especially as “failure” is understood in relation to Bresson’s chosen literary precursors, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, and Russian revolutionary culture of the nineteenth century.
Restoring Bresson to the radical political culture from which he emerged—and to which he remained faithful—Price offers a major revision of the reputation of one of the most celebrated figures in the history of French film. In doing so, he raises larger philosophical questions about the efficacy of revolutionary practices and questions about interpretation and metaphysical tendencies of film historical research that have, until now, gone largely untested.
"This meticulously researched study....discusses a varied array of movements, organizations, and activists, many largely unstudied, who sought to aid the poor and oppressed through Christian social action....[This] thoughtful, lucid book will engage not only historians but also theologians, ethicists, political scientists, sociologists, indeed anyone interested in the convergence of religion and politics in the United States."
--Journal of American History
Robert Craig explores the history of American left-wing Christians who discovered the convergence between radical politics and Christian faith. He examines the life histories of individuals, movements, and organizations that encompass more than a century of American history and discusses the role of religious activism in movements of social transformation.
Craig describes the activists who participated in this (largely ignored) alternative tradition of social action on behalf of the poor. Among those included are Jesse H. Jones, Edward H. Rogers, the Christian Labor Union, and the Knights of labor, which represented workers; Frances Willard and Mother Jones, who worked to improve the status of women and working-class people; Reverdy Ransom, W.E.B. Du Bois, Hubert Harrison, and George Washington Woodbey, who wrestled with the relationship between race and class; Southern radicals, such as Howard Kester, Claude Williams, and the southern Tenant Farmers' Union, which struggled for radical equality; and those involved in the politics of nonviolence, such as Dorothy Day and A.J.. Muste.
"Religion and Radical Politics is a helpful analysis of several chapters in American a religious history....built around a series of biographical sketches that explore the lives of people such as Terence Powederly, Frances Willard, Mother Jones, George Washington Woodbey, Claude Williams, Howard Kester, Harry F. Ward, A.J. Juste, and Dorothy Day. ...[It] is a remarkably strong book."
--Journal of Church and State
"A major contribution to American history and to Christian ethics. It will be controversial in the best way, raising questions which are the right questions, at least right for those who care for a democracy of human rights, universal participation, and social justice."
--David J. O'Brien, College of the Holy Cross
Women Strike for Peace is the only historical account of this ground-breaking women's movement. Amy Swerdlow, a founding member of WSP, restores to the historical record a significant chapter on American politics and women's studies. Weaving together narrative and analysis, she traces WSP's triumphs, problems, and legacy for the women's movement and American society.
Women Strike for Peace began on November 1, 1961, when thousands of white, middle-class women walked out of their kitchens and off their jobs in a one-day protest against Soviet and American nuclear policies. The protest led to a national organization of women who fought against nuclear arms and U.S. intervention in Vietnam. While maintaining traditional maternal and feminine roles, members of WSP effectively challenged national policies—defeating a proposal for a NATO nuclear fleet, withstanding an investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and sending one of its leaders to Congress as a peace candidate.
As a study of a dissident group grounded in prescribed female culture, and the struggle of its members to avoid being trapped within that culture, this book adds a crucial new dimension to women's studies. In addition, this account of WSP's success as a grass roots, nonhierarchical movement will be of great interest to historians, political scientists, and anyone interested in peace studies or conflict resolution.
"Swerdlow has re-created a unique piece of American political history, a chapter of the international peace movement, and an origin of the modern feminist movement. No historian, activist, or self-respecting woman should be without Women Strike for Peace. It shows not only how one group of women created change, but also how they inevitably changed themselves."—Gloria Steinem