"Partner and I" by Susan Ware

Partner and I Molly Dewson, Feminism, and New Deal Politics Susan Ware

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
10 Sep 1989
ISBN:
9780300046212
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
342 pages: 235 x 156mm

A fascinating exploration of the private and public worlds of Molly Dewson, America’s original female political boss. In the first biography ever written of Dewson, Susan Ware not only examines her political career as a trusted member of the Roosevelt team throughout the New Deal but also considers how Dewson’s fifty-two year partnership with Polly Porter and her woman-centered existence strengthened her success as a politician.
“Susan Ware’s excellent biography of Molly Dewson restores one of Franklin Roosevelt’s chums and an irrepressible battler for women in politics to her proper place in the history of the New Deal.”—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
“Rich, readable, and intriguing biography.”—Estelle B. Freedman, Women’s Review of Books
“Readers should welcome Ware’s spotlight on Dewson, which widens to disclose wonderfully human views of FDR and Eleanor and brings to life many virtually forgotten feminists of an era that threatens to fade into gray.”—Publishers Weekly
“Provides a lively and refreshingly concrete sense of everyday activities in reform and political circles. … A wonderful account of the model of a modern political woman.”—Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Times Literary Supplement
Susan Ware is assistant professor of history at New York University, where she also coordinates the Women’s History Program.

"Susan Ware's excellent biography of Molly Dewson restores one of Franklin Roosevelt's chums and an irrepressible battler for women in politics to her proper place in the history of the New Deal."?Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.             


"Partner And I places Molly Dewson where she eminently belongs?high in the New Deal pantheon. Her papers have long beckoned a biographer. She has now found a fine one in Susan Ware whose superior knowledge of the history of women and the New Deal splendidly qualifies her for the job."?Joseph P. Lash


"Partner And I provides a lively and refreshingly concrete sense of everyday activities in reform and political circles. Its details lend powerful evidence to support Ware's general argument that feminism did not die between the passage of the nineteenth amendment and the resurgence of popular feminism in the 1960s. . . . A wonderful account of the model of a modern political woman who, whatever her indebtedness to women's traditional networks and concerns, did more than any other to bring them into the modern world of political action."?Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Times Literary Supplement 


"This fascinating story of one of the most politically-powerful women in American history sheds important light on women's entry into the political mainstream between 1900 and 1940."?Professor Kathryn Kish Sklar, UCLA


"Readers should welcome Ware's spotlight on Dewson, which widens to disclose wonderfully human views of FDR and Eleanor and brings to life many virtually forgotten feminists of an era that threatens to fade into gray."?Publishers Weekly


"For those who enjoy biographies, Ware's work on Molly Dewson is an excellent and enjoyable choice."?Choice


"A breezy, readable account of the woman who became 'America's first female political boss' and of her fifty-year Boston marriage to Polly Porter, the International Harvester heiress."?Sharon Hartman Strom, Reviews in American History


"[A] well-written and interesting book."?James T. Patterson, New England Quarterly


"Important contribution to American history."?Elisabeth Israels Perry, American Historical Review


 "A well-written biography which significantly advances our understanding of the important role which Molly Dewson played in shaping the social welfare measures of the 1930s. Historians of women and the New Deal era will find it particularly valuable."?Judy Barrett Litoff, The Historian


"Once again Susan Ware has demonstrated her superb knowledge of American women's history between 1900 and 1940."?Martha H. Swain, Journal of American History


"[A] ground-breaking book. . . a political and personal biography of Molly Dewson and her life partner, Polly Porter. Groundbreaking because unlike the mass of recent biographies of lesbians in history, it does not ignore the story and significance of Dewson's lesbian life. . . . Molly Dewson's most noted work was with Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal; she headed the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee and served on the Board of the two-year-old Social Security Administration. Her skills as an organizer and leader had been honed through involvement with local and national women's reformist organizations. . . . Ware's book puts in clear and proper perspective the contributions made by such groups before women were able to enter electoral politics, and implicitly the contributions of the lesbians who ran them, staffed them, volunteered for them, and were served by them. . . . For an honest look back at the way we were, in both public and private life, pick up a copy of Partner and I."?Diane Hamer, Gay Community News 


"Partner and I is a genuine lesbian biography of New Deal era politician Molly Dewson and Polly Porter, her partner of over fifty years. . . . This is a remarkable tale of public women with a fairly public relationship."?Feminist Bookstore News


"A very readable and intriguing biography!"?Lambda Rising News


"For readers unfamiliar with the themes and paradigms of American women's history, Partner and I is a worthwhile introduction; for specialists in the field, it expands our knowledge of women's first involvement in Democratic politics."?Ann Schofield, American Studies


"This is a new form of political history which recognizes the presence of women's friendships and the support of women's communities which enabled women to become effective in politics and to influence public policy. It is an invaluable addition to the scholarship of the Roosevelt era and the history of United States women."?Joan Iversen, New York History