Common Sense and a Little Fire

By Annelise Orleck,

Book cover of Common Sense and a Little Fire: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965

Book description

Twenty years after its initial publication, Annelise Orleck's Common Sense and a Little Fire continues to resonate with its harrowing story of activism, labor, and women's history. Orleck traces the personal and public lives of four immigrant women activists who left a lasting imprint on American politics. Though they have…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Common Sense and a Little Fire as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Common Sense and a Little Fire is a group biography of four Jewish immigrant women who became important leaders in the labor movement and the New Deal: Rose Schneiderman, Fannia Cohn, Clara Lemlich Shavelson, and Pauline Newman.  Building on their shared experiences growing up in New York City’s Lower East Side, these women challenged sexism in the labor movement and classism in the suffrage movement and became leaders in “industrial feminism,” which fused labor organizing and feminist activism. Annelise Orleck skillfully weaves together a variety of sources, including interviews with the women, as well as the women’s life stories to…

From Anya's list on American women activists.

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