Fire and Grace: The Life of Rose Pastor Stokes

Arthur Zipser, Author, Pearl Zipser, Author University of Georgia Press $40 (348p) ISBN 978-0-8203-1133-3
Once as notorious as Emma Goldman or Margaret Sanger, socialist-feminist Stokes (1879-1933) is now a footnote in most histories. A Russian-Polish Jewish immigrant who spent 12 years working in Cleveland cigar factories, Rose Pastor married New York banker James Stokes in 1905. A year or so later, they joined Eugene Debs's Socialist Party. Though often dismissed as a ``millionaire socialist,'' Rose Stokes, as limned in this vivid biography by two veterans of the socialist movement, played a prominent role in hard-fought labor struggles and in the battles for birth control and women's suffrage. She was also a playwright and poet, a founder of the U.S. Communist Party, a brief devotee of mystic Kahlil Gibran. Her conviction under the 1917 Espionage Act for anti-war speeches, followed by her stormy divorce and riches-to-rags remarriage at age 47 to 29-year-old communist intellectual Jerome Romain added dramatic twists to her unconventional life. Photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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