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Irrepressible

The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford

Leslie Brody

Paperback

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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (10/1/2010)

Description

From the author of Red Star Sister
"An excellent biography. Brody has made the world a better place by telling Mitford's] saga so skillfully" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Admirers and detractors use the same words to describe Jessica Mitford: subversive, mischief-maker, muckraker. J.K. Rowling calls her her "most influential writer." Those who knew her best simply called her Decca. Born into one of Britain's most famous aristocratic families, she eloped with Winston Churchill's nephew as a teenager. Their marriage severed ties with her privilege, a rupture exacerbated by the life she lead for seventy-eight years.

After arriving in the United States in 1939, Decca became one of the New Deal's most notorious bureaucrats. For her the personal was political, especially as a civil rights activist and journalist. She coined the term frenemies, and as a member of the American Communist Party, she made several, though not among the Cold War witch hunters. When she left the Communist Party in 1958 after fifteen years, she promised to be subversive whenever the opportunity arose. True to her word, late in life she hit her stride as a writer, publishing nine books before her death in 1996.

Yoked to every important event for nearly all of the twentieth century, Decca not only was defined by the history she witnessed, but by bearing witness, helped to define that history.

"Brisk, engaging." --Wall Street Journal

"A valuable retelling of a provocative life." --Kirkus Reviews

Counterpoint LLC, 9781582437675, 405pp.

Publication Date: September 20, 2011



About the Author

Leslie Brody has won the PEN Center USA West prize and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and several awards for her playwriting. She is the author of the memoir Red Star Sister and is a professor at the University of Redlands. She lives in Redlands, California.