Alexandra M. Nickliss
Phoebe Apperson Hearst
A Life of Power and Politics
Bison Books 2018
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in BiographyNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network June 19, 2019 Mark Klobas
Though not as well known today as her husband George or her son William Randolph, Phoebe Apperson Hearst was a woman who rose beyond the gender norms of her age to exert considerable influence both within her community and nationally. In Phoebe Apperson Hearst: A Life of Power and Politics (Bison Books, 2018), Alexandra M. Nickliss shows how Hearst came to exercise such power and the ways she uses it to advance the causes in which she believed. As Nickliss explains, Phoebe Apperson’s parents sought an education for their daughter in accordance with the reform principles of their faith. Marriage and her relocation to California did little to change Phoebe Hearst’s views, and with her husband often absent on business she took advantage of the couple’s wealth to travel and engage in voluntary associations. With George Hearst’s death Phoebe Hearst came into her own, soon moving beyond her involvement in the kindergarten movement to help develop the University of California and from there to assume prominent roles in both the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and the suffrage movement of the early 20th century.