From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes
Rose Pastor arrived in New York City in 1903, a Jewish refugee from Russia. Two years later, she swept headlines when she married James Graham Phelps Stokes, scion of New York high society. Together, this unusual couple moved among the liveliest group of Socialist activists and dreamers this country has ever seen, including Emma Goldman, Eugene Debs, Margaret Sanger, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Rose stirred audiences to tears, led labor strikes, and distributed birth control information alongside the country’s earliest feminists. President Woodrow Wilson called her “one of the dangerous influences of the country.” Rebel Cinderella unearths the rich, overlooked life of a social justice campaigner truly ahead of her time.
Praise For Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes…
––Megan Marshall, author of Elizabeth Bishop
“Through the lens of a remarkable marriage, Adam Hochschild draws a vivid portrait of the Gilded Age—of immigrants, sweatshops, tenements, strikes, enclaves of patrician privilege, and a ‘citadel of socialism’ on a private island. At the center of it all is Rose, whose extraordinary story ends as anything but a fairy tale.”
––Jean Strouse, author of Morgan: American Financier
“Adam Hochschild recounts the incredible story of Rose Pastor Stokes, a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe who toiled in a cigar factory, met and married a rich socialite, and became an infamous socialist firebrand. The book is chock-full of fascinating characters and stories, with Stokes and her comrades often recounting their dramatic lives in their own words.”
––Tyler Anbinder, author of City of Dreams
“Lucidly written and painstakingly researched, this is a joy to read, cementing Pastor in her rightful place with other progressive figures of the time.”
––Library Journal, starred review
“Hochschild’s captivating and fast-paced biography is a true delight and an excellent addition to women’s history shelves.”
“Polished and accessible . . . few histories capture the era’s combustible mix of idealism and inequality better.”
“Adam Hochschild writes movingly about an unlikely pair who also served as a potent symbol . . . Hochschild is a superb writer who makes light work of heavy subjects . . . Where information is scant or nonexistent, he deploys elegant workarounds that evoke a vivid sense of time and place . . . Hochschild’s book shows us what a radical movement looked like from the inside, with all of its high-flown idealism and personal intrigues. Whatever protections we take for granted once seemed unfathomable before they became real.”
––New York Times
“This vibrant biography portrays the riveting charisma of the socialist activist Rose Pastor Stokes . . . Hochschild captures the improbability and idealism of both Pastor Stokes and her era, a time when it seemed that stark divisions of class, race, and gender might be erased, in an instant, by love.”
––The New Yorker
“Adam Hochschild is among the most readable of historians . . . Hochschild has done a brilliant job of bringing [the Stokes’s marriage] to life and in doing so, illuminating the complex social and economic history of a generation whose rabble-rousers and dreamers bequeathed us such reforms as Social Security, Medicare, child labor laws and the eight-hour day.”
“A thrilling book. Adam Hochschild is a wonderful writer with a social conscience.”
––Bill Goldstein, Weekend Today in New York, WNBC-TV
“Hochschild’s historical account is both gripping and occasionally heartbreaking.”
“A solidly researched and impressive biography.”
––Los Angeles Review of Books
“A compelling read about a fascinating time in American history, one that bears some resemblance to today.”
––Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[A] thoroughly engrossing, meticulously researched and well-illustrated biography...Despite the book’s title, there are no fairy-tale heroes in it, which testifies to the subtlety of Mr. Hochschild’s narrative imagination...Hochschild is as excellent at invoking such personal confrontations as he is at summarizing, with epigrammatic clarity, complex historical developments."
––Wall Street Journal
Mariner Books, 9780358522461, 336pp.
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
About the Author
ADAM HOCHSCHILD is the author of ten books. King Leopold’s Ghost was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as was To End All Wars. His Bury the Chains was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN USA Literary Award. He lives in Berkeley, California.