Eslanda by Barbara Ransby

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Eslanda "Essie" Cardozo Goode Robeson lived a colorful and amazing life, embroiled in much of the twentieth century's social turmoil and traveling to every corner of the globe to fight for downtrodden and oppressed peoples. She was a woman of unusual accomplishment—an anthropologist, a prolific journalist, a tireless advocate of women's rights, an outspoken anti-colonial and antiracist activist, and an internationally sought-after speaker. Yet historians for the most part have confined Essie to the role of Mrs. Paul Robeson, a wife hidden behind the large shadow cast by her famous husband. In this masterful book, biographer Barbara Ransby refocuses attention on Essie, one of the most important and fascinating black women of the twentieth century. Chronicling Essie's eventful life, the book explores her influence on her husband's early career and how she later achieved her own unique political voice. Essie's friendships with a host of literary icons and world leaders, her renown as a fierce defender of justice, her defiant testimony before Senator Joseph McCarthy's infamous anti-communist committee, and her unconventional open marriage that endured for over 40 years—all are brought to light in the pages of this inspiring biography. Essie's indomitable personality shines through, and her contributions to American and world history can be fully appreciated at last.

About Barbara Ransby

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Barbara Ransby is professor in the departments of African American Studies, Gender and Women Studies, and History, and director of the Gender and Women Studies Program, University of Illinois, Chicago. She is author of the award-winning Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement, and a respected scholar-activist for many years.
Published January 8, 2013 by Yale University Press. 424 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

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Robeson’s life, writes the author, “was set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance, World War II, the Cold War, African decolonization, and the early rumblings of the U.S. Black Freedom movement.” Though Essie’s husband, the well-known artist and activist Paul Robeson, has been the subjec...

Nov 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Eslanda

Publishers Weekly

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Determined to rescue Essie from the shadow of her famous husband, Ransby acts as Essie's staunch advocate, setting her subject's remarkable life story against the backdrop of the major movements of the 20th century: the Harlem Renaissance, WWII, the cold war, African decolonization, and the begin...

Nov 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Eslanda

Insight News

Eslanda The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson ... This fact is
reflected in the book's 30+ pages of photographs, in which we find her in ....
Harrison Ford: The "42" · "Rising from Ashes": Bike racing documentary
chronicles rise ... B...

Nov 29 2014 | Read Full Review of Eslanda

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