Irrepressible by Leslie Brody
The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford

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Synopsis

Admirers and detractors use the same words to describe Jessica Mitford: subversive, mischief-maker, muckraker. J.K. Rowling calls her her “most influential writer.” Those who knew her best simply called her Decca. Born into one of Britain’s most famous aristocratic families, she eloped with Winston Churchill’s nephew as a teenager. Their marriage severed ties with her privilege, a rupture exacerbated by the life she lead for seventy-eight years.

After arriving in the United States in 1939, Decca became one of the New Deal’s most notorious bureaucrats. For her the personal was political, especially as a civil rights activist and journalist. She coined the term frenemies, and as a member of the American Communist Party, she made several, though not among the Cold War witch hunters. When she left the Communist Party in 1958 after fifteen years, she promised to be subversive whenever the opportunity arose. True to her word, late in life she hit her stride as a writer, publishing nine books before her death in 1996.

Yoked to every important event for nearly all of the twentieth century, Decca not only was defined by the history she witnessed, but by bearing witness, helped to define that history.
 

About Leslie Brody

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Leslie Brody covers education for The Record newspaper in New Jersey. The Last Kiss, her first book, grew out of a national award-winning series in The Record called "Living with Cancer". She has been a reporter for The Associated Press in Tokyo, Fortune Magazine and The St. Petersburg Times. A 1983 graduate of Yale, she lives in New York with her children.
 
Published September 10, 2010 by Counterpoint. 418 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Irrepressible

The Wall Street Journal

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Brody informs us)."Irrepressible" is a brisk, engaging and mainly admiring work, but the author—best known for "Red Star Sister," a memoir of her own years as an activist in the 1960s counterculture—seems neither worried nor terribly interested that Jessica hung on in a larg...

Oct 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Irrepressible: The Life and T...

Los Angeles Times

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The story of Jessica Mitford's life follows her British society beginnings to her communist activities and investigative projects in the U.S.

Dec 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Irrepressible: The Life and T...

We Love This Book

Jessica ‘Decca’ Mitford, sixth of the seven Mitford children, had several very famous sisters: Diana Moseley, authoress Nancy Mitford, Unity Mitford and Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire.

Oct 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Irrepressible: The Life and T...

Book Forum

The jacket copy of Leslie Brody's new biography Irrepressible will tell you that Jessica Mitford, or Decca, as she was nicknamed, was "yoked to every important event for nearly all of the twentieth century."

Sep 29 2010 | Read Full Review of Irrepressible: The Life and T...

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