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Monday, December 27, 2010

Wednesday, December 29 - Leslie Brody on Jessica Mitford

Wednesday night at 8 o’clock on KPFK: Leslie Brody is the author of the first ever biography of the radical civil rights activist, muckraker, bon vivant and all-around Left icon Jessica Mitford. You’ll know her reputation as, yes, an irrepressible spirit --- of radicalism, humanity and wit --- thus the title of Leslie Brody’s stunning story of Mitford’s life, Irrepressible: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford --- and from classic books including her attack on the mortuary biz, The American Way of Death. In Irrepressible, Leslie Brody’s familiar and generous tone, sharp scholarship-driven research and elegant historical context, chart Mitford’s birth into a notorious upper class British family of political eccentrics to her death in her beloved adopted home of San Francisco and the life in-between. She was at the vanguard of just about every peace and justice movement of the latter half of the century, as a New Dealer, CPer, famous ex-Cper, to a self-taught investigative journalist of our times, scourge of the business class and hero to consumers of every political stripe. Brody’s own credentials inform the success of this book. Her memoir, Red Star Sister, is the story of a young woman growing up in a political cell, deep in counterculture and underground politics of the 1960s and 70s, a critique and an appreciation of that experience. Today Leslie Brody teaches at the University of Redlands. This is a terrific book, which tells a history of a person and a time, and how they created each other. Thanks for listening, on the radio or via the website, downloadable free for 90 days.

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