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  • Sunday, April 16, 2006


    The Quotable Rebel

    I'm a scavenger. I like books with lots of bits of information. Strange reference books on a variety of subjects are sure to be littered around my bed and desk. Part of it is my ADDish mind, leaping from subject to subject, following lines of reasoning and research for the fun of it. So it is unsurprising to me that when I saw The Quotable Rebel: Political Quotations for Dangerous Times, edited by Teishan Latner, I fell in love with it immediately.

    Despite having some deficiency in the proofreading process, these are the kinds of quotes I like: progressive, radical, courageous. (I found two typos on the first two pages I read at random, including misspelling Audre Lorde's last name as "Lord". Tsk, tsk.)

    Oh, and look: Teishan Latner, the editor, has written for my college newspaper, The Antioch Record. I was one of the editors of the Record back in my college days. Ah, and he thanks Greg Bates at Common Courage Press. Greg was editor of the Record the quarter after our feminist collective edited it. Yes, boys and girls, I was a man in a feminist collective. (It sounds like a pulp novel title.) Remember my earlier musings on "solidarity"? There's a reason why the subject is dear to my heart. Those good ole college days. [Addendum/edit: Oops! My bad! I was confusing Greg Bates with Eric Bates who was the editor of the Record. Eric went on to be editor of Southern Exposure, a well-respected magazine. I believe Eric also received awards for his investigative reporting/writing there as well. My apologies to both Eric and Greg for the confusion. 4/19/06]

    Back to the book, here are a few sample quotes from the "Ain't I a Woman?" section.
    No passing of legal enactments can set free a woman with a slave mind. --Teresa Billington-Greig, English activist, The Militant Suffrage Movement, 1911

    I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute. --Rebecca West, Irish writer, The Clarion, 1913

    [Man] has done all he could to debase and enslave her mind; and now he looks triumphantly on the ruin he has wrought, and says, the being he has thus deeply injured is his inferior. --Sarah Grimké, activist, writer, Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, 1838
    While I've picked older quotes here, I note that there are some from Cindy Sheehan in August, 2005, so there is obviously some very current material. It has 54 chapters focusing on all sorts of subjects. I might share a few more quotes in the future. This is much better than those boring Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.

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