A Saving Remnant
The Radical Lives of Barbara Deming and David McReynolds
By Martin Duberman
(New Press, Hardcover, 9781595583239, 336pp.)
Publication Date: March 2011
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By the time their paths first crossed in the 1960s, Barbara Deming and David
McReynolds had each charted a unique course through the political and social worlds of the American left. Deming, a feminist, journalist, and political activist with an abiding belief in nonviolence, had been an out lesbian since the age of sixteen. The first openly gay man to run for president of the United States, on the Socialist Party ticket, McReynolds was also a longtime opponent of the Vietnam War—he was among the first activists to publicly burn a draft card after this became a felony—and friend to leading activists and artists from Bayard Rustin to Quentin Crisp.
In this remarkable dual biography, the prize-winning historian Martin Duberman
reveals a vital historical milieu of activism, radical ideas, and coming to terms with homosexuality when the gay rights movement was still in its nascent stages. With a cast of characters that includes intellectuals, artists, and activists from the critic Edmund White and the writer Mary McCarthy to the young Alvin Ailey and Allen Ginsberg, A Saving Remnant is a brilliant achievement from one of our most important historians.