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We have read the stories of those who have "crossed" lines of race and class and culture. But few have written of crossing—completely and entirely—the gender line. Crossing is the story of Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald), once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, and her dramatic and poignant journey to becoming a woman. McCloskey's account of her painstaking efforts to learn to "be a woman" unearth fundamental questions about gender and identity, and hatreds and anxieties, revealing surprising answers.
The renowned male economist and historian who crossed gender lines by becoming a woman at age fifty-two shares her story in detail, recounting struggles with family and friends, professional problems, and unexpected surprises, such as conservative colleagues who proved to be accepting "gender libertarians."
We have read the stories of those who have "crossed" lines of race and class and culture. But few have written of crossing—completely and entirely—the gender line. Crossing is the story of Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald), once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, and her dramatic and poignant journey to becoming a woman. McCloskey's account of her painstaking efforts to learn to "be a woman" unearth fundamental questions about gender and identity, and hatreds and anxieties, revealing surprising answers.
Crossing the Bridge weaves together 26 stories of growing up in Brooklyn during the 1940's and 50's and the author's powerful drive to leave that "ghettoed world." With each chapter, each character sketch, and each pivotal experience, Bea Epstein, guided by her work as a psychotherapist, expands the reader's understanding of the emotional meaning of her life's events and their place in the complex web of family relationships. From the recollection of her parents' journey to America as children, to the story of their painful marriage; from descriptions of the immigrant neighborhood in which she grew up, to the tragic end of her parents' lives, we travel with the author on her journey to cross the bridge out of Brooklyn.Regardless of age or cultural heritage, readers will recognize universal human themes... the conflicts in family life, the struggle for identity, and the limits of parental love.
What could possibly impel a relatively privileged twenty-four-year-old American-serving in the U.S. Army in Germany in 1952-to swim across the Danube River to what was then referred to as the Soviet Zone? How are we to understand his decision to forsake the land of his birth and build a new life in the still young German Democratic Republic? These are the questions at the core of this memoir by Victor Grossman, who was born Stephen Wechsler but changed his name after defecting to the GDR. A child of the Depression, Grossman witnessed firsthand the dislocations wrought by the collapse of the U.S. economy during the 1930s. Widespread unemployment and poverty, CIO sit-down strikes, and the fight to save Republican Spain from fascism-all made an indelible impression as he grew up in an environment that nurtured a commitment to left-wing causes. He continued his involvement with communist activities as a student at Harvard in the late 1940s and after graduation, when he took jobs in two factories in Buffalo, New York, and tried to organize their workers. Fleeing McCarthyite America and potential prosecution, Grossman worked in the GDR with other Western defectors and eventually became, as he notes, the "only person in the world to attend Harvard and Karl Marx universities." Later, he was able to establish himself as a freelance journalist, lecturer, and author. Traveling throughout East Germany, he evaluated the failures as well as the successes of the GDR's "socialist experiment." He also recorded his experiences, observations, and judgments of life in East Berlin after reunification, which failed to bring about the post-Communist paradise so many had expected. Written with humor as well as candor, Crossing the River provides a rare look at the Cold War from the other side of the ideological divide. Mark Solomon, a distinguished historian of the American left, provides a historical afterword that places Grossman's experiences in a larger Cold War context.
An evocotive tale of coming to womanhood in the disorienting 1960s-a girl in the world of nuns and the Holy Ghost-but on a deeper level, this is a story of a woman who has suffered unimaglnable loss and attempts to make sense of that loss by re-imagining her past and her own Irish-American heritage. The first in her family born in the United States, Maureen grew up the Bronx Irish daughter of two unforgettable immigrants: her storytelling, former revolutionary father, and her fierce, IRA-supporting mother. Crossing Higbbridge is framed by the accidental death of Waters's son and her struggle to make sense of this loss by re-imagining her past and her heritage. Her life in postwar New York City was colored by Catholicism and strong cultural links to the other side - by Irish step dancing, the melodies of Thomas Moore, and the rituals, inflections, and harrowing memories impressed on her. Sex was a mystery. Schoolgirls wore below-the-knee blue serge uniforms with starched white collars and cuffs. Brutal treatment at the hands of the hands of the nuns who ran her college drove Waters to transfer to a secular school. Waters rebelled against an upbringing that seemed to wall her off
This vivid, compulsively readable memoir of courage, grief and redemption illuminates the life of Mai, a young girl from Vietnam's rice fields, who risks everything to escape poverty, abuse and war. Her battle is not against soldiers but against her neighbors and a thousand years of tradition. Born during Ho Chi Minh's revolution against the French, she was just a baby when his followers in the village, out of spite, came to her home one night and murdered the men in the family, driving her mother mad with fear and rage. She was fourteen when her mother forced her to marry and have a child with a brutal man who beat and tortured her, finally leaving her for dead beside the road. Recovered, she ran away with her infant son, only to discover there was no place for them. To save her baby's life, she returned home in disgrace, only to face the Viet Cong. In desperation she escaped again, leaving her child in safety, she thought. On Saigon's deadly streets, with no identity papers, she became an outlaw, hiding from her ex-husband, grieving for her lost child. Homeless, penniless and pursued, only her dream of freedom kept her alive. Then one day she would meet a saintly woman, who gave her hope, and an Irish-American naval officer, who gave her love. Crossing the Bamboo Bridge is a tale of mothers and daughters, and of their children. It is a tale of war, and grief, and a young girl's dreams. It is a stunning epiphany of hope where there is none, of courage in the face of despair, of love, respect and freedom.