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Irrepressible: The Life and Times of Jessica…
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Irrepressible: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford (vuoden 2011 painos)

– tekijä: Leslie Brody (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
848255,674 (3.69)8
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 termfrenemies, 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.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:ZelmerWilson
Teoksen nimi:Irrepressible: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford
Kirjailijat:Leslie Brody (Tekijä)
Info:Counterpoint (2011), 416 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:to-read

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Irrepressible: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford (tekijä: Leslie Brody)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Thoroughly enjoyable, particularly if you have a fascination with the Mitford sisters (as I do). ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
A lightweight, sympathetic, admiring bio. Easy to read. Easy to digest. Not much in the way of complications, ambiguities, and confusions of real life. But an easy entry into the life on the left in the UK in the 30s, in the US in the 40/5os/60s... A taste of peerage life. With walk-ins by all the right people. Vignettes of Oakland under the racist leadership of the Trib, Guerneville when it was a politcal hangout, and SF in the war years. And of course, some family dynamics--what else could you have when one sis is a brazen, hot-dog commie, two are Nazis (one rumored to be Hitler's fiancé ), one a tell-all (gently) writer, and another a Brit Duchess. ( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
Thoroughly enjoyable, particularly if you have a fascination with the Mitford sisters (as I do). ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
In a high school journalism class, I read some excerpts from Jessica Mitford's amazing book The American Way of Death, an expose and exploration of the American funeral business (her book was said to have influenced Robert F. Kennedy's coffin choice for his brother). It was much later that I learned this Mitford was related to that other Mitford I knew, Nancy.

Born in 1917, Jessica was the sixth of seven children born to an English baron and his wife. Jessica's childhood was influenced by the privilege of her family's wealth, status, and name as well as the wildly diverging personalities of her sisters. All were passionate and brilliant, determined to mark their place in society; Jessica's early liberal political leanings were in stark contrast to her sisters Unity and Diana, who were dedicated Fascists and supporters of Hitler. An impetuous elopement with her second cousin lead to Jessica being cut out of the family. After her first marriage ended, she married an American and became a Communist. She actively worked in the Civil Rights movement and wrote sharp, invective examinations of American society.

At less than 350 pages, this biography reads quickly albeit a tad dry. I tend to favor more 'relational' biographies, the ones where the biographer openly acknowledges her place in the story, but this is one of those more formal types where the biographer is invisible. As a result, the writing style is very precise, very sharp, almost journalistic in style. Many sentences are shaped by a direct quote of some sort (i.e., Decca reveled in being "busy, busy, busy.", page 135) but that isn't to say that Brody doesn't write well or without passion (Suddenly, they were in a psychosexual crucible, with all the vino and cheap gin they could drink. He had a bitter edge. She had a wicked mouth. Finally, they were just kids., page 19). Mitford's life -- already fascinating -- snaps along in Brody's hands, one fascinating episode after another, and so this felt like a considerably shorter book.

Even if you're unfamiliar with Jessica Mitford, give this book a try: she's a fascinating women whose life reads like an over-the-top historical novel. I think anyone interested in post-WWII Britain and America will enjoy following this radical and brilliant writer through some of the most influential events in 20th century history. ( )
  unabridgedchick | Oct 27, 2011 |
Confession time - before I was introduced to this book, I had no idea who Jessica Mitford was. Having read the book, I am sad I have spent so long without knowing her. What an interesting, energetic and involved character she was! Leslie Brody has done an amazing job of capturing Jessica (or Decca, as she was called). There is nothing dry or boring about either the woman or the book. This biography is well written, easy to follow and read, and interesting. There are also pictures. I happen to love pictures in biographies. My favorite is at page 214. It is a picture of Decca at age 5 looking defiant, stubborn and immovable - a foreshadowing of the woman she would become. ( )
  DanaBurgess | Oct 17, 2011 |
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

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 termfrenemies, 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.

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