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Biography / Autobiography

Woman Behind the New Deal: Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins

Woman Behind the New Deal: Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins

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"Kirstin Downey's lively, substantive and--dare I say--inspiring new biography of Perkins . . . not only illuminates Perkins' career but also deepens the known contradictions of Roosevelt's character." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh Air

One of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's closest friends and the first female secretary of labor, Perkins capitalized on the president's political savvy and popularity to enact most of the Depression-era programs that are today considered essential parts of the country's social safety network.

Woman I Wanted to Be

Woman I Wanted to Be

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One of the most influential, admired, and innovative women of our time: fashion designer, philanthropist, wife, mother, and grandmother, Diane von Furstenberg offers a book about becoming the woman she wanted to be.

Diane von Furstenberg started out with a suitcase full of jersey dresses and an idea of who she wanted to be--in her words, "the kind of woman who is independent and who doesn't rely on a man to pay her bills." She has since become that woman, establishing herself as a global brand and a major force in the fashion industry, all the while raising a family and maintaining "my children are my greatest creation."

In The Woman I Wanted to Be, von Furstenberg reflects on her extraordinary life--from childhood in Brussels to her days as a young, jet-set princess, to creating the dress that came to symbolize independence and power for an entire generation of women. With remarkable honesty and wisdom, von Furstenberg mines the rich territory of what it means to be a woman. She opens up about her family and career, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and devoting herself to empowering other women, writing, "I want every woman to know that she can be the woman she wants to be."

Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City

Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City

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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. With bald honesty and brutal lyricism (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject--the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.

A Woman in Berlin stands as one of the essential books for understanding war and life (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).

Woman in Berlin: Six Weeks in the Conquered City

Woman in Berlin: Six Weeks in the Conquered City

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An astonishing find-the landmark journal of a woman living though the Russian occupation of Berlin-which has already earned comparisons to diaries by Etty Hillesum and Victor Klemperer
For six weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman, alone in the city, kept a daily record of her and her neighbors' experiences, determined to describe the common lot of millions.
Purged of all self-pity but with laser-sharp observation and bracing humor, the anonymous author conjures up a ravaged apartment building and its little group of residents struggling to get by in the rubble without food, heat, or water. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, she depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. And with shocking and vivid detail, she tells of the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject: the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity. Through this ordeal, she maintains her resilience, decency, and fierce will to come through her city's trial, until normalcy and safety return.
At once an essential record and a work of great literature, "A Woman in Berlin "not only reveals a true heroine, sure to join other enduring figures of the twentieth century, but also gives voice to the rarely heard victims of war: the women.
Woman in charge: the Life and Times of Hillary Rodham Clinton

Woman in charge: the Life and Times of Hillary Rodham Clinton

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Carl Bernstein's stunning portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton shows us, as nothing else has, the true trajectory of her life and career with its zigzag bursts of risks taken and safety sought. Marshaling all the skills and energy that propelled his history-making Pulitzer Prize reporting on Watergate, Bernstein gives us the most detailed, sophisticated, comprehensive, and revealing account we have had of the complex human being and political meteor who has already helped define one presidency and may well become, herself, the woman in charge of another. We see the shaping of Hillary as a self-described mind conservative and heart liberal --her ostensibly idyllic Midwestern girlhood (her mother a nurturer, but her father a disciplinarian, harsher than she has acknowledged); her early development of deep religious feelings; her curiosity fueled by dedicated teachers, by exposure to Martin Luther King Jr., by the ferment of the sixties, and, above all, by a desire to change the world. At Wellesley, we watch Hillary, a Republican turned Democrat, thriving in the new sky's-the-limit freedom for women, already perceived as a spokeswoman for her generation, her commencement speech celebrated in Life magazine. And the book takes us to Yale Law School as Hillary meets and falls in love with Bill Clinton and cancels her dream to go her own way, to New York or Washington, tying her fortune, instead, to his in Arkansas. Bernstein clarifies the often amazing dynamic of their marriage, shows us the extent to which Hillary has been instrumental in the triumphs and troubles of BillClinton's governorship and presidency, and sheds light on her own political brilliance and her blind spots--especially her suspicion and mishandling of the press and her overt hostility to the opposition that clouded her entry into the capital. He untangles her relationship to Whitewater, Troopergate, and Travelgate. He leads us to understand the failure of her health care initiative. In the emotional and political chaos of the Lewinsky affair we see Hillary, despite her immense hurt and anger, standing by her husband--evoking a rising wave of sympathy from a public previously cool to her. It helps carry her into the Senate, where she applies the political lessons she has learned. It is now her time. As she decides to run for president, her husband now her valued aide, she has one more chance to fulfill her ambition for herself--to change the world. In his preparation for A Woman in Charge, Bernstein reexamined everything pertinent written about and by Hillary Clinton. He interviewed some two hundred of her colleagues, friends, and enemies and was allowed unique access to the candid record of the 1992 presidential campaign kept by Hillary's best friend, Diane Blair. He has given us a book that enables us, at last, to address the questions Americans are insistently--even obsessively--asking about Hillary Clinton: What is her character? What is her political philosophy? Who is she? What can we expect of her?
Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton

Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton

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The nuanced, definitive biography of one of the most controversial and widely misunderstood figures of our time: the woman running a historic campaign as the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee--Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews with colleagues and friends and with unique access to campaign records, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Carl Bernstein has given us a book that enables us, at last, to address the questions Americans are insistently--even obsessively--asking: Who is she? What is her character? What is her political philosophy? And, what can we expect from Hillary if we elect her President of the United States?

Woman Like Me

Woman Like Me

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Acclaimed R&B singer Bettye LaVette celebrates her storied career in show business with her stunning memoir, "A Woman Like Me, "and her new album, "Thankful N' Thoughtful. "
As a teenager in Detroit, Bettye LaVette had a hit single with My Man He s a Lovin Man. By the time she was twenty, she had faded back into obscurity and was barely surviving in New York City. For the next forty years, despite being associated with legends such as Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, and James Brown, she remained relatively unknown outside a circle of devoted fans. Every time it seemed that her dream of stepping into the spotlight was finally coming true, bad luck smashed her hopes, again and again. Then, after a lifetime of singing in clubs and lounges, her unforgettable televised performances at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors and at President Obama s pre-Inaugural Concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 2009 won her the recognition she had sought for her entire life.
Bettye LaVette s career has been a one-of-a-kind roller-coaster ride through the world of music; it has taken her from the peaks to the pits and back. In this unflinchingly honest memoir, she boldly recounts her freewheeling childhood her parents ran an illegal liquor business out of their living room, which was frequented by some of the top acts of the forties and fifties her short-lived conquest of the R&B world in the 1960s, her decline into poverty and despair, and her recent comeback and career revival, with two Grammy-nominated CDs and numerous appearances on major television talk shows. Poignant, brazen, and fearless, "A Woman Like Me "is a tour de force from one of the most outspoken female performers singing today and she s a force to be reckoned with."
Woman of No Importance

Woman of No Importance

$28.00
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by NPR, the New York Public Library, Amazon, the Seattle Times, the Washington Independent Review of Books, PopSugar, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, BookBrowse, the Spectator, and the Times of London

Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography

"Excellent...This book is as riveting as any thriller, and as hard to put down." -- The New York Times Book Review

A compelling biography of a masterful spy, and a reminder of what can be done with a few brave people -- and a little resistance. - NPR

A meticiulous history that reads like a thriller. - Ben Macintyre

A never-before-told story of Virginia Hall, the American spy who changed the course of World War II, from the author of Clementine.

In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.

The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and--despite her prosthetic leg--helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.

Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.

Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall--an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

Woman of No Importance

Woman of No Importance

$18.00
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by NPR, the New York Public Library, Amazon, the Seattle Times, the Washington Independent Review of Books, PopSugar, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, BookBrowse, the Spectator, and the Times of London

Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography

"Excellent...This book is as riveting as any thriller, and as hard to put down." -- The New York Times Book Review

A compelling biography of a masterful spy, and a reminder of what can be done with a few brave people -- and a little resistance. - NPR

A meticiulous history that reads like a thriller. - Ben Macintyre

A never-before-told story of Virginia Hall, the American spy who changed the course of World War II, from the author of Clementine.

In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.

The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and--despite her prosthetic leg--helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.

Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.

Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall--an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

Woman of Rome: A Life of Elsa Morante

Woman of Rome: A Life of Elsa Morante

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The first biography in any language of one of the most celebrated Italian writers of the twentieth century.

Born in 1912 to an unconventional family of modest means, Elsa Morante grew up with an independent spirit, a formidable will, and an unshakable commitment to writing. Forced to hide from the Fascists during World War II in a remote mountain hut with her husband, renowned author Alberto Moravia, she re-emerged at war's end to take her place among the premier Italian writers of her day. When Rome was film capital of the world, she counted Pasolini, Visconti, and the young Bertolucci among her circle of friends. She was charismatic, beautiful, and fiercely intelligent; her marriage, a passionate union of literary giants, captivated a nation; her love affairs were intense and often tragic. And until now few Americans have known of this remarkable woman and her powerful, original talent.

Woman of the House: The Rise of Nancy Pelosi

Woman of the House: The Rise of Nancy Pelosi

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Arguably, Nancy Pelosi will be one of the most important political figures for many years to come. Not only has she somehow won the confidence of the boy's club of the House and returned her party to majority status after twelve years of Republican rule, she has managed, in her first 100 hours on the job, to pass much of the legislation she promised. Pelosi is also leading the vocal, in-your-face opposition to the Iraq war, this generation's defining event, and is likely one of the most important political figures of the last few decades. Bzdek chronicles the rise of the country's most powerful woman, shining a light on the nuts and bolts that make up the person who is two heartbeats away from the presidency by line of succession.

Woman of the House: The Rise of Nancy Pelosi

Woman of the House: The Rise of Nancy Pelosi

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Arguably, Nancy Pelosi will be one of the most important political figures for many years to come. Not only has she somehow won the confidence of the boy's club of the House and returned her party to majority status after twelve years of Republican rule, she has managed, in her first 100 hours on the job, to pass much of the legislation she promised. Pelosi is also leading the vocal, in-your-face opposition to the Iraq war, this generation's defining event, and is likely one of the most important political figures of the last few decades. Bzdek chronicles the rise of the country's most powerful woman, shining a light on the nuts and bolts that make up the person who is two heartbeats away from the presidency by line of succession.
Woman of Uncertain Character

Woman of Uncertain Character

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A poignant and raucous memoir of a mother feminist, fighter against injustice, and unbridled lover and her madcap son."
Woman of uncertain character

Woman of uncertain character

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This memoir is about Clancy Sigal's intense attachment to his fast-talking, redhaired, sexy, unwed mother Jennie, a firebrand union organizer, and his roaring Oedipal rivalry with his mostly absent father Leo who carries a gun to social occasions. In the wide-open, violent Chicago of the Depression and war years, Jennie, in her Cuban heels and flaming lipstick, is a single mother on welfare trying to raise a wild rebellious son in a twilight world between law and lawlessness. She is defiant, vulnerable, sexually alive, high stepping, man-loving, woman-friendly, wisecracking -- fearlessly facing down hostile scabs armed with shotguns and clubs. Along with the portrait of Jennie, this book tells a rollicking, profane, and gritty tale of bottom-feeding street life, race riots, riding the rails, and what happens when a gang boy is mistakenly sent to an all-girls' high school.
Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

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NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER - NATIONAL BESTSELLER - With this book, the acclaimed author created an entirely new form--an exhilarating blend of autobiography and mythology, of world and self, of hot rage and cool analysis. First published in 1976, it has become a classic in its innovative portrayal of multiple and intersecting identities--immigrant, female, Chinese, American.

"A classic, for a reason" - Celeste Ng via Twitter

As a girl, Kingston lives in two confounding worlds: the California to which her parents have immigrated and the China of her mother's "talk stories." The fierce and wily women warriors of her mother's tales clash jarringly with the harsh reality of female oppression out of which they come. Kingston's sense of self emerges in the mystifying gaps in these stories, which she learns to fill with stories of her own. A warrior of words, she forges fractured myths and memories into an incandescent whole, achieving a new understanding of her family's past and her own present.

Women of the Cousins' War: The Duchess, the Queen, and the King's Mother

Women of the Cousins' War: The Duchess, the Queen, and the King's Mother

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory joins two eminent historians to explore the extraordinary true stories of three women largely forgotten by history: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, queen of England; and Margaret Beaufort, the founder of the Tudor dynasty.

In her essay on Jacquetta, Philippa Gregory uses original documents, archaeology, and histories of myth and witchcraft to create the first-ever biography of the young duchess who survived two reigns and two wars to become the first lady at two rival courts. David Baldwin, established authority on the Wars of the Roses, tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner to marry a king of England for love. And Michael Jones, fellow of the Royal Historical Society, writes of Margaret Beaufort, the almost-unknown matriarch of the House of Tudor.

Beautifully illustrated throughout with rare portraits and source materials, The Women of the Cousins' War offers fascinating insights into the inspirations behind Philippa Gregory's fiction and will appeal to all with an interest in this epic period.

Women Who Raised Me

Women Who Raised Me

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Born as a ward of the state of Maine, the child of an unmarried Yankee blueblood mother and an unknown black father, Victoria Rowell beat the odds. The Women Who Raised Me is the remarkable story of her rise out of the foster care system to attain the American Dream--and of the unlikely series of women who lifted, motivated, and inspired her along the way.

From Agatha Armstead--a black Bostonian who was Victoria's longest-term foster mother and first noticed her spark of creativity and talent--to Esther Brooks, a Paris-trained prima ballerina who would become her first mentor at the Cambridge School of Ballet--The Women Who Raised Me is a loving, vivid portrait of all the women who would help Victoria transition out of foster care and into New York City's wild worlds of ballet, acting, and adulthood. Though Victoria would go on to become an accomplished television and film star, she still carried the burden of loneliness and anxiety, particularly common to those orphans of the living who are never adopted. Vividly recalled and candidly told, her story is transfixing, redemptive, heartbreaking, and, ultimately, inspiring.

Women Who Raised Me

$25.95
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