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A Saving Remnant: The Radical Lives of Barbara Deming and David McReynolds Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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New York Times Book Review
"[A] brilliant and remarkable biography . . . essential."
"A fascinating dual biography . . . A Saving Remnant is an in-depth study of what it means to live the life of someone single-mindedly committed to a cause."
The Gay and Lesbian Review
Female presidential candidates and gay marriages were unimaginable during the middle of the twentieth century. Discrimination and marginalization were daily facts of life for anyone who wasn’t a straight, white male. The fight for basic civil rights has always been fraught with struggle and strife. It was the common goals of equality and acceptance that led the lives of Deming, an out lesbian, and McReynolds, an openly gay man (the first to run for president of the U.S., on the Socialist Party ticket in 1980), to intersect in the socially turbulent 1960s. McReynolds, a left-wing writer and antiwar protester still alive and kicking at 81, was a friend and contemporary of Allen Ginsberg and Alvin Ailey. Deming, a feminist and tireless advocate for nonviolent social change who died of cancer in 1984, was romantically involved with artist Mary Meigs for nearly 20 years. Duberman, a well-respected history professor and Pulitzer Prize finalist, chronicles the fascinating lives and complex friendship of these two passionate, radical activists in this dazzlingly detailed dual biography.
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Top customer reviews
it's wonderful to have found a work that describes two of my heroes so well. Having been slightly acquainted with each of them, I can confirm that his descriptions here are faithful to his subjects, and provides them each and together with much-earned attention.
You can only know so much about someone through email and the occasional political gethering. Duberman brings these two people into focus as humans with lives at least as screwed up as our own. Their dreams and ambitions, foibles and quirks, fears and strengths - all here and described with love and respect.
Thanks to the wonderful writing of Martin Duberman, I now understand both of these fine people better than I ever did, though I corresponded with each of them over 20 years.
Only one note that I didn't find: David always carries a bag of catnip with him to share with felines he meets in his travels. He doesn't travel that much any more, but I'll bet the cats in his New York neighborhood know who he is and are always pleased to see him.