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March 13 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pmFree
Rose Pastor arrived in New York City in 1903, a Jewish refugee from Russia who had worked in cigar factories since the age of eleven. Two years later, she captured headlines across the globe when she married James Graham Phelps Stokes, scion of one of the legendary 400 families of New York high society. Together, this unusual couple joined the burgeoning Socialist Party and, over the next dozen years, moved among the liveliest group of activists and dreamers this country has ever seen. Their friends and houseguests included Emma Goldman, Big Bill Haywood, Eugene V. Debs, John Reed, Margaret Sanger, Jack London, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Rose stirred audiences to tears and led strikes of restaurant waiters and garment workers. She campaigned alongside the country’s earliest feminists to publicly defy laws against distributing information about birth control, earning her notoriety as “one of the dangerous influences of the country” from President Woodrow Wilson. But in a way no one foresaw, her too-short life would end in the same abject poverty with which it began.
By a master of narrative nonfiction, Rebel Cinderella unearths the rich, overlooked life of a social justice campaigner who was truly ahead of her time.
About the Author
ADAM HOCHSCHILD is the author of ten books. King Leopold’s Ghost was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as was To End All Wars. His Bury the Chains was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN USA Literary Award. He lives in Berkeley, California.
––Megan Marshall, author of Elizabeth Bishop
“Through the lens of a remarkable marriage, Adam Hochschild draws a vivid portrait of the Gilded Age – of immigrants, sweatshops, tenements, strikes, enclaves of patrician privilege, and a ‘citadel of socialism’ on a private island. At the center of it all is Rose, whose extraordinary story ends as anything but a fairy tale.”
––Jean Strouse, author of Morgan: American Financier
“Adam Hochschild recounts the incredible story of Rose Pastor Stokes, a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe who toiled in a cigar factory, met and married a rich socialite, and became an infamous socialist firebrand. The book is chock-full of fascinating characters and stories, with Stokes and her comrades often recounting their dramatic lives in their own words.”
––Tyler Anbinder, author of City of Dreams
“Lucidly written and painstakingly researched, this is a joy to read, cementing Pastor in her rightful place with other progressive figures of the time.”