Abstract

At the American Historical Association's 2010 meeting in San Diego, CA, historians honored the multifaceted life and work of Blanche Wiesen Cook. Jane S. De Hart examines the circumstances and choices that shaped Cook and the generation of young women historians who came of age as young PhDs and would create new fields. Lawrence S. Wittner traces Cook's half-century of peace activism from her undergraduate days at Hunter College and graduate work at Johns Hopkins University through her work as a peace historian to the blending of her interest in peace and feminism in more recent work. Paula J. Giddings, focusing on the Eleanor Roosevelt biography, provides a “biography of a biography,” noting appreciatively the nuanced text and rich portrait provided of E.R.'s relationships with men and women. Former students Debra Schultz and Marcia Gallo celebrate not only Cook's pioneering work on women whose global consciousness and intimate female networks promoted progressive change, but also her role as mentor to younger historians eager to “out” lesbian history and further LGBT rights. Linda K. Kerber adds that no celebration of Cook's career is complete without recognition of the extraordinary institution—John Jay College of Criminal Justice—at which she has long challenged New York City “cops” to put into practice what she teaches.

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