Excitement about Patricia Bell-Scott’s
THE FIREBRAND AND THE FIRST LADY
“Thorough and engaging . . . Amazement, annoyance, impatience, assistance, resistance, challenge, focus, concern and love flowed in the decades of correspondence between Murray and Roosevelt . . . Their lives were each the richer for it, and our lives are richer for the accounting of their friendship in this important book.”
–Julianne Malveaux, The Washington Post
“[Written] with the grace, compassion and diligent attention to detail that characterized both its principal subjects . . . ‘The Firebrand’ is someone whose inspiration is sorely needed – and not only by black women.”
–Gene Seymour, USA TODAY
“It’s safe to say that The Firebrand and the First Lady will deservedly capture several literary awards this year. More than two decades in the making . . . a definitive biography of Murray, a trailblazing legal scholar and a tremendous influence on Mrs. Roosevelt, who deepened her commitment to civil rights until her death in 1962.”
–Patrik Henry Bass, Essence
“Tremendous . . . 20 years in the making.”
–Irin Carmon, The New York Times Book Review
“Thrilling . . . masterful . . . Powerful and important.”
–Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
“Extraordinary and inspiring.”
– Sara Catterall, Shelf Awareness
“Bell-Scott meticulously chronicles Eleanor Roosevelt’s and Pauli Murray’s boundary-breaking friendship, telling each remarkable woman’s story within the context of the crises of the times . . . Sharply detailed and profoundly illuminating . . . A groundbreaking portrait . . . essential and edifying.”
– Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review)
“Deftly reveals two women’s crucial involvement in the struggle for civil rights . . . An absorbing historical page-turner . . . Bell-Scott brilliantly shows that the friendship equally enriched both women.”
– PW, Starred Review
“The extraordinary life of Pauli Murray, activist, poet, teacher, priest and "firebrand" for all seasons, is beautifully detailed in Patricia Bell-Scott's book. Pauli clearly won the heart of Eleanor Roosevelt as both women sought to advance the cause of Negro rights--indeed all human rights---during their lives. Their history together reverberates today as the fight for equality continues, making this book important reading for all of us."
– Jane Alexander, award winning actress, "Eleanor and Franklin" and "The White House Years"
“Bell-Scott shines a bright light on this significant relationship. A fresh look at Eleanor Roosevelt and a fascinating exploration of a cherished, mutually beneficial friendship.”
–Kirkus, Starred Review
“What an exquisite book! Patricia Bell-Scott has done the painstaking research on two women who in many respects couldn’t have been more different, but in at least one respect – their unique friendship – shared a passion for truth . . . The particular lens through which Bell-Scott has examined the Struggle for Social Justice is their incredible friendship, filled with initial shyness and formality, spurred on by the experiences of injustice, ripened through hard work, including difficult exchanges, and brought to fruition in the lasting legacies of each. As the Episcopal Church, other religious groups, and the entire country continues to deal with the evils of racism and their lasting and destructive effects, Patricia Bell-Scott has given us a book that will inspire and give hope to all who read it.”
– The Rt. Rev. Mary D. Glasspool, Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of Los Angeles.
“Bold, fast-paced, and vividly written, Patricia Bell-Scott's dual portrait of Pauli Murray and Eleanor Roosevelt significantly enhances the story of two luminous activists who learned much from each other across the color line. This splendid book gives us significant hope for the future as we continue to struggle for justice, peace and freedom.”
– Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt, I, II, III forthcoming
“Presented against the backdrop of social activism, the dual life stories of the unheralded Pauli Murray and Eleanor Roosevelt told in Patricia Bell-Scott’s important book should inspire all readers. Rarely has a friendship been dissected and analyzed with such verve and open-eyed compassion.”
–Wil Haygood, author of Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America
“A fresh look at a fascinating friendship between two vivid individuals from very different worlds — as well as a chronicle of the age-old conflict between the highest ideals and the art of the possible.”
– Geoffrey C. Ward, author of The Roosevelts: An intimate History
“With roots in personal contact, this extraordinary book of the extraordinary friendship between two extraordinary women is biography at its best: intimate while revealing of society in its time. Patricia Bell-Scott sees all, and her view is both engrossing and encouraging.
– Nell Irvin Painter, author of Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol
About the Author
PATRICIA BELL-SCOTT is professor emerita of women’s studies and human development and family science at the University of Georgia. Her previous books include Life Notes: Personal Writings by Contemporary Black Women, Flat-Footed Truths: Telling Black Women’s Lives, and Double Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers & Daughters, which won the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband, Charles V. Underwood Jr.