Writing from the Library (Fall 2016)

Writing from the Library_book covers
By Ivelisse Estrada

Scholars continue to flock to the Schlesinger to conduct research for their projects. Here, we highlight three recently published books that relied in part on the library’s holdings—from personal papers to our institutional archives.

Heather Hendershot
Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line 
(Broadside, 2016)
While writing the chapter on women’s liberation in her portrait of the conservative television host and famous contrarian William F. Buckley, Heather Hendershot—then the 2014–2015 Maury Green Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute—watched videos of Betty Friedan on Firing Line and read through the papers of Harriet Pilpel. According to Kirkus Reviews, the time spent in the archives paid off: “The author’s research is formidable: interviews, major reliance on National Review (the magazine Buckley founded in 1955), and a comprehensive familiarity with the guests and topics on the show, a familiarity clearly acquired by many hours at the video monitor and many hours of reading transcripts.” Hendershot is a professor of film and media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Nancy Weiss Malkiel
“Keep the Damned Women Out”: The Struggle for Coeducation 
(Princeton University Press, 2016)
Nancy Weiss Malkiel AM ’66, PhD ’70 is a scholar of 20th-century American history and a professor of history, emerita, at Princeton University, where she was also the first woman and longest-serving dean of the college. She relied on the extensive Radcliffe College Archives for her study of coeducation at elite institutions of higher learning from 1969 to 1974. In addition to Harvard-Radcliffe, Malkiel looked at such US institutions as Dartmouth, Princeton, Vassar, and Yale and at colleges at Cambridge and Oxford, in the United Kingdom. After calling Malkiel’s effort “well crafted and incredibly comprehensive,” Susan Ware—former senior advisor to the Schlesinger Library, a member of the Schlesinger Library Council, and the author of Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women’s Sports (University of North Carolina Press, 2011)—said, “There is no question in my mind that this book will immediately become the go-to source for understanding why coeducation happened when it did, and how the story unfolded on elite campuses.”

Angela A. Ards
Words of Witness: Black Women’s Autobiography in the Post-Brown Era
(University of Wisconsin Press, 2016)
While she was the 2010–2011 William Bentinck-Smith Fellow at Radcliffe, Angela Ards studied the June Jordan Papers—which, in addition to correspondence and other writings, include videos and photographs—in her quest to address political and moral questions of the post–civil rights era through the experiences of black women. Julia Watson, a professor emerita at the Ohio State University, characterized the book as a study “at the intersection of autobiography studies, feminism, black literary history, and cultural and political theory” and called it “ambitious, timely, engaging, and provocative.” Ards is an assistant professor of English at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences.

For a fuller list of books researched at the Schlesinger, visit bit.ly/writingfromthelibrary

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