The Lives of Agnes Smedley: The Life of Agnes Smedley

Hardcover | February 2, 2005

byRuth Price

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Was she a selfless political activist? A feminist heroine? A gifted writer who rose from poverty to become a leading journalist and author of the cult classic Daughter of Earth? A spy for the Soviet Union? Or all of these things? Drawing on fifteen years of intensive research and unprecedented access to previously unpublished documents, this vibrant book brings to life one of the twentieth century's most fascinating women. Ruth Price traces Agnes Smedley's unlikely trajectory from a small Missouri town to the coalcountry of Colorado; to Berkeley and Greenwich Village; to Berlin, Moscow, and China. Fueled by a fury at injustice, Smedley threw herself headlong into the crucial issues of the time, from Indian independence to birth control, women's rights, and the revolution in China. Her friends included suchfigures as Margaret Sanger, Langston Hughes, Emma Goldman, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mao Zedong, and many others. Perhaps most important, Price uncovers an astonishing truth: Smedley, long thought to be the unfair target of a Cold War smear campaign, was indeed guilty of the espionage charges leveledagainst her by General Douglas MacArthur and others. Smedley worked to foment armed revolution in India and gathered intelligence for the Soviet Union, seeing it as a bulwark against fascism. Price argues that Smedley acted out of a passionate idealism and that she exhibited a courage andcompassion worthy of a renewed, if more complicated, admiration today. Epic in scope, painstakingly researched, and unflinchingly honest, The Lives of Agnes Smedley offers a stunning reappraisal of one of America's most controversial Leftists and a new look at the troubled historical terrain of the first half of the twentieth century.

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Was she a selfless political activist? A feminist heroine? A gifted writer who rose from poverty to become a leading journalist and author of the cult classic Daughter of Earth? A spy for the Soviet Union? Or all of these things? Drawing on fifteen years of intensive research and unprecedented access to previously unpublished doc...

Ruth Price taught English for several years at CUNY, has worked for the New York City and state governments, and was press secretary for Bella Abzug. She has published several works of genre fiction. The Lives of Agnes Smedley, her first nonfiction book, is the result of more than 15 years of work.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:512 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 1.69 inPublished:February 2, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019514189X

ISBN - 13:9780195141894

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"A deeply sympathetic and yet starkly revealing portrait of one of our best known feminist heroines. It beautifully evokes the tensions of a radical life, without exonerating her for the questionable choices she made. Best of all, this carefully researched biography reads like a novel. Youwont be able to put it down."--Alice Kessler-Harris, author of In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth Century America