The Life of Pauli Murray
Oxford University Press 2017
New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in BiographyNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network August 6, 2017 Lilian Calles Barger
Rosalind Rosenberg‘s book Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray (Oxford University Press, 2017) is a multi-layered and rich biography of Pauli Murray, an activist, lawyer and Episcopal priest whose life intersected with the most significant civil and human rights issues of the twentieth century. As a mixed raced woman who felt that her identity was at odds with her body before transsexual had become part of the popular consciousness, Murray’s life provides insight into a lived intersectionality of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Beginning with her southern upbringing, we follow Murray through multiple educational, vocational and identity challenges she suffered. In a journey through a dislocated life, she contributed to multiple movements and institutions working with many key social leaders such as Thurgood Marshall, Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Friedan. Appearing as a one-person social movement with a deep religious faith she pursued justice not only for herself but also for others. Rosenberg has provided sympathetic insight into the personal cost that Murray incurred on the road to a more equitable society. Rosalind Rosenberg is Professor of History Emerita at Barnard College.
Lilian Calles Barger is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her current book project is tentatively entitled The World Come of Age: Religion, Intellectuals and the Challenge of Human Liberation is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.