Biographies & Memoirs
9780385513173Bruce ChiltonMary Magdalene: A BiographyAfter 2,000 years of flawed history, here at last is a magnificent new biography of Mary Magdalene that draws her out of the shadows of history and restores her to her rightful place of importance in Christianity. Throughout history, Mary Magdalene has been both revered and reviled, a woman who has taken on many forms--witch, whore, the incarnation of the eternal feminine, the devoted companion (and perhaps even the wife) of Jesus. In this brilliant new biography, Bruce Chilton, a renowned biblical scholar, offers the first complete and authoritative portrait of this fascinating woman. Through groundbreaking interpretations of ancient texts, Chilton shows that Mary played a central role in Jesus' ministry and was a seminal figure in the creation of Christianity. Chilton traces the evolving images of Mary Magdalene and the legends surrounding her. He explains why, despite her prominence, the Gospels actually say so little about her and why the Catholic Church for thousands of years has sought to marginalize her importance. In a probing look at the Church's attitudes toward women, he investigates Christian misogyny in the ancient world, including the suppression of women priests who patterned their activities on Mary's; explores the impact of Gnostic ambivalence toward women on its depictions of Mary; and shows that these traditions still influence modern portrayals of her. Chilton's descriptions of who Mary Magdalene was and what she did challenge the male-dominated history of Christianity familiar to most readers. Placing Mary within the traditions of Jewish female savants, Chilton presents a visionary figure who was fully immersed in the mystical teachings that shaped Jesus' own teachings and a woman who was a religious master in her own right. - Description from Syndetics
9780814754849Carleton Mabee; Susan M. NewhouseSojourner Truth: Slave, Prophet, LegendMany Americans have long since forgotten that there ever was slavery along the Hudson River. Yet Sojourner Truth was born a slave near the Hudson River in Ulster County, New York, in the late 1700s. Called merely Isabella as a slave, once freed she adopted the name of Sojourner Truth and became a national figure in the struggle for the emancipation of both blacks and women in Civil War America. Despite the discrimination she suffered as both a black and a woman, Truth significantly shaped both her own life and the struggle for human rights in America. Through her fierce intelligence, her resourcefulness, and her eloquence, she became widely acknowledged as a remarkable figure during her life, and she has become one of the most heavily mythologized figures in American history. While some of the myths about Truth have served positive functions, they have also contributed to distortions about American history, specifically about the history of blacks and women. In this landmark work, the product of years of primary research, Pulizter-Prize winning biographer Carleton Mabee has unearthed the best available sources about this remarkable woman to reconstruct her life as directly as the most original and reliable available sources permit. Included here are new insights on why she never learned to read, on the authenticity of the famous quotations attributed to her (such as Ar'n't I a woman?), her relationship to President Lincoln, her role in the abolitionist movement, her crusade to move freed slaves from the South to the North, and her life as a singer, orator, feminist and woman of faith. This is an engaging, historically precise biography that reassesses the place of Sojourner Truth--slave, prophet, legend--in American history. Sojourner Truth is one of the most famous and most mythologized figures in American history. Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer Carleton Mabee unearths heretofore-neglected sources and offers valuable new insights into the life of a woman who, against all odds, became a central figure in the struggle for the emancipation of slaves and women in Civil War America. - Description from Syndetics
9780062515537Kathryn SpinkMother Teresa: A Complete Authorized BiographyDuring her lifetime, Mother Teresa resisted having her full biography written. Then, in 1991, realizing that accounts of her life and work could inspire others, she gave Kathryn Spink, who had long been intimately involved with the work of Mother Teresa and her order and co-workers around the world, permission to proceed with a complete biography on the understanding that it would not be finished until after her death. Here, now, is the complete story of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Missionaries of Charity and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a woman regarded by millions as a contemporary saint for her dedication to serving the poorest of the poor. From her childhood in Balkans as a member of a remarkably openhearted and religious family to her work in India, from attending the victims of war-torn Beirut to pleading with George Bush and Saddam Hussein to choose peace over war. Mother Teresa was driven by an absolute faith. She consistently claimed that she was simply responding to Christ's boundless love for her and for all of humanity. When People magazine interviewed Kathryn Spink for their cover story on Mother Teresa 's death, Spink told them: "What one has to understand about Mother Teresa is that she sees Christ in every person she encounters." Clad in her white peasant sari with blue edging, Mother Teresa brought to the world a great and living lesson in joyful and selfless love. - Description from Syndetics
9780738200422Gillian GillMary Baker EddyIn 1866, a frail, impoverished invalid, middle-aged, widowed and divorced, rose from her bed after a life-threatening fall, asked for her Bible, and took the first steps toward the founding of the Christian Science Church. Four decades later, she was revered as their leader by thousands of churches in the U.S. and Europe, had founded a national newspaper, and had become probably the most powerful woman in America.Who was this astonishing woman, the mother of the Mother Church? How did she prepare for her illustrious career during her years of obscurity, and what was her inspiration for the healing practices and doctrine of Christian Science? Gillian Gill, a non-Christian Science Scientist scholar, who managed to win unparalleled access to the Church archives, offers here an entirely new look at Mary Baker Eddy.For the first time readers will see the extraordinary leadership skills exercised by Mrs. Eddy despite the repressive forces facing women in her time. For the first time we learn the full story of the bizarre attack on Mrs. Eddy by Joseph Pulitzer and his New York World --alleging that she was at least senile and possibly not even alive. In this enthralling biography, we rediscover Mary Baker Eddy as a radical Christian thinker, pioneer in the recognition of mind/body connections, survivor of scandal, and target of both admiration and scorn from such eminent contemporaries as Mark Twain. Gillian Gill's sense of drama, her critical acumen, and her delicious wit bring to life a brilliant religious leader whose message has new meaning in our time. - Description from Syndetics
9780307268273Anne RiceCalled Out of Darkness: A Spiritual ConfessionAnne Rice was raised in New Orleans as the devout child in a deeply religious Irish Catholic family. Here, she describes how, as she grew up, she lost her belief in God, but not her desire for a meaningful life. She used her novels¿beginning with Interview with a Vampire¿to wrestle with otherworldly themes while in her own life, she experienced both loss (the death of her daughter and, later, her beloved husband, Stan Rice) and joys (the birth of her son, Christopher). And she writes about how, finally, after years of questioning, she experienced the intense conversion and re-embracing of her faith that lie behind her most recent novels about the life of Christ. - Description from Syndetics
9780226446998Louise W. KnightCitizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for DemocracyJane Addams was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.Now "Citizen," Louise W. Knight's masterful biography, revealsAddams's early development as a political activist and social philosopher.In this bookwe observea powerful mindgrappling withthe radical ideas of her age, most notably the ever-changing meanings of democracy. "Citizen" covers the first half of Addams's life, from 1860 to 1899. Knight recounts how Addams, a child of a wealthy family inrural northern Illinois, longed for a life of larger purpose. She broadened her horizons through education, reading, and travel, and, after receiving an inheritance upon her father's death, moved to Chicago in 1889 to co-found Hull House, the city's first settlement house. "Citizen" shows vividly what the settlement house actually was a neighborhood center for education and social gatherings and describes how Addams learned of the abject working conditions in American factories, the unchecked power wielded by employers, the impact of corrupt local politics on city services, and the intolerable limits placed on women by their lack of voting rights. These experiences, Knight makes clear, transformed Addams. Always a believer in democracy as an abstraction, Addams came to understand that this national ideal was also a life philosophy and a mandate for civic activism by all. As her story unfolds, Knight astutely captures the enigmatic Addams's compassionate personality as well as her flawed human side. Written in a strong narrative voice, "Citizen" is an insightful portrait of the formative years of a great American leader. Knight s decision to focus on Addams s early years is a stroke of genius. We know a great deal about Jane Addams the public figure. We know relatively little about how she made the transition from the 19th century to the 20th. In Knight s book, Jane Addams comes to life. . . . "Citizen" is written neither to make money nor to gain academic tenure; it is a gift, meant to enlighten and improve. Jane Addams would have understood. Alan Wolfe, "New York"" Times Book Review" My only complaint about the book is that there wasn t more of it. . . . Knight honors Addams as an American original. Kathleen Dalton, "Chicago"" Tribune"" - Description from Syndetics
9780805092257Rhoda JanzenMennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home "It is rare that I literally laugh out loud while I'm reading, but Janzen's voice--singular, deadpan, sharp-witted and honest--slayed me." --Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her injured. Needing a place to rest and pick up the pieces of her life, Rhoda packed her bags, crossed the country, and returned to her quirky Mennonite family's home, where she was welcomed back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda's good-natured mother suggested she get over her heartbreak by dating her first cousin--he owned a tractor, see.) Written with wry humor and huge personality--and tackling faith, love, family, and aging-- Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead. - Description from Syndetics
Why did Life Magazine dub her "the most hated woman in America"?
Did she unravel the moral fiber of America or defend the Constitution?
Madalyn Murray O'Hair, whose 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case ended school prayer. Her Christian-baiting lawsuits spanned three more decades; she was on TV all over the country, foul-mouthed, witty, and passionate, launching today's culture wars over same-sex marriage and faith-based initiatives. -- Description from Syndetics
9781401908973Steve Erwin; Immaculée IlibagizaLeft to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust This is my story, told as I remember it ... and I remember it as though it happened yesterday. It's a true story; I use my own name and the names of my family. This is the story of how I discovered God during one of history's bloodiest holocausts. I wrote this book hoping that others may benefit from my story. -Immaculee Ilibagiza In the spring of 1994, more than one million people were murdered in the Rwandan genocide. This is the story of how Immaculee survived certain death, along with seven other women, by hiding in a very small bathroom for more than 3 months. Day after day, for months, the killers would search nearby - gleefully chanting 'kill them big, kill them small, kill them, kill them, kill them all!' With uncommon sincerity, Immaculee shares with us her soul's struggle through disbelief to anger and rage and, ultimately, forgiveness. She is living proof of the power of prayer and positive thinking. Her story will touch you deeply. You will feel her fear, you will cry, and you will ask yourself the same questions that we as a people have been asking forever- How could this happen? Where does such animosity come from? Why can't we just be like God, Who is the Source for all of us? But you will also feel something else most profoundly- You will feel hope, a hope that inch by inch, we as a people are moving toward a new alignment-that is, we're moving toward living God-realized lives. To me, Immaculee was not only left to tell this mind-blowing story, but more than that, she's a living example of what we can all accomplish when we go within and choose to truly live in perfect harmony with our originating Spirit. -Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (from the Foreword) 'In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was 22 years old and home from college to spend Easter with her devout Catholic family when the death of Rwanda's Hutu president sparked a three-month slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis. She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor's tiny bathroom with seven other starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days. This searing firsthand account of Ilibagiza's experience cuts two ways- her description of the evil that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is soul-numbingly devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires. This book is a precious addition to the literature that tries to make sense of humankind's seemingly bottomless depravity and counterbalancing hope in an all-powerful, loving God.' - Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review, March 2006 - Description from Syndetics
9780313349829Laura T. McCartyCoretta Scott King: a Biography: A BiographyCoretta Scott was committed to social justice long before she met and married Martin Luther King, Jr. She shared in all the dangers that King's prominence in the civil rights movement brought, and she saw herself as full partner in the movement. Yet she generally remained in the background, supporting King's work and caring for their children, until his assassination transformed her into a movement leader in her own right: founder of the King Center, leader of a mass demonstration for a renewed national commitment to nonviolent social change, force behind the establishment of the national holiday bearing her husband's name. This book follows the trajectory of Coretta Scott King's tumultuous life at the heart of the most important American social movement of the 20th century. Coretta Scott was committed to social justice long before she met and married Martin Luther King, Jr. She shared in all the dangers that King's prominence in the civil rights movement brought, and she saw herself as full partner in the movement. Yet she generally remained in the background, supporting King's work and caring for their children, until his assassination transformed her into a movement leader in her own right: founder of the King Center, leader of a mass demonstration for a renewed national commitment to nonviolent social change, force behind the establishment of the national holiday bearing her husband's name. This book follows the trajectory of Coretta Scott King's tumultuous life at the heart of the most important American social movement of the 20th century. - Description from Syndetics
9780195181289Suzanne VromenHidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the NazisIn the terrifying summer of 1942 in Belgium, when the Nazis began the brutal roundup of Jewish families, parents searched desperately for safe haven for their children. As Suzanne Vromen reveals in Hidden Children of the Holocaust, these children found sanctuary with other families andschools--but especially in Roman Catholic convents and orphanages. Vromen has interviewed not only those who were hidden as children, but also the Christian women who rescued them, and the nuns who gave the children shelter, all of whose voices are heard in this powerfully moving book. Indeed, here are numerous first-hand memoirs of life in a wartimeconvent--the secrecy, the humor, the admiration, the anger, the deprivation, the cruelty, and the kindness--all with the backdrop of the terror of the Nazi occupation. We read the stories of the women of the Resistance who risked their lives in placing Jewish children in the care of the Church, andof the Mothers Superior and nuns who sheltered these children and hid their identity from the authorities. Perhaps most riveting are the stories told by the children themselves--abruptly separated from distraught parents and given new names, the children were brought to the convents with a sense ofurgency, sometimes under the cover of darkness. They were plunged into a new life, different from anything they had ever known, and expected to adapt seamlessly. Vromen shows that some adapted so well that they converted to Catholicism, at times to fit in amid the daily prayers and rituals, butoften because the Church appealed to them. Vromen also examines their lives after the war, how they faced the devastating loss of parents to the Holocaust, struggled to regain their identities and sought to memorialize those who saved them. This remarkable book offers an inspiring chronicle of the brave individuals who risked everything to protect innocent young strangers, as well as a riveting account of the "hidden children" who lived to tell their stories. - Description from Syndetics
9780316322409Malala Yousafzai; Christina Lamb (As told to)I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the TalibanWhen the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world. - Description from Syndetics