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Web Letters | The Nation

Bella's Way > Letters

Web Letter

I am surprised to hear the Ms. Aronwitz (and by default, the editors of The Nation) believe a complex historical personage "confounds" librarians and archivists. I find and hope the truth is contrary. Most archivists, including myself, and librarians welcome the collections and works of people of all depths and accomplishments in our efforts to document and preserve history, its events and personalities. Describing or "categorizing" (cataloging their works or related items?) to include myriad subjects and facets is not a difficulty or even challenging; rather, it is a pleasure.

Nancy L Webster

La Grange, IL

Jan 28 2008 - 12:10pm

Web Letter

In her review Ms. Aronowitz quotes me as offering Bella Abzug some advice about lipstick, or rather about not wearing lipstick, when she was going to address a radical feminist conference. The quote is culled from Bella's recollection of what I said. My recollection of our exchange stands very nicely on p. 107, just below Bella's recollection. Not a whisper about lipstick. I did urge her to tell the conference of 20-something radicals that it was her 50th birthday, a hard age for a woman, even Bella, to own up to in those years. And she did, to thunderous applause.

Susan Brownmiller

New York, NY

Jan 28 2008 - 12:09pm

Web Letter

True story: I owned a restaurant on East 52st St., next door to the conference board of which Bella Abzug was a consulant. One rainy day, she came out the service door and called for her driver parked across the street to pull over to her side. As he did, his right rear fender hit the left front fender of a car parked in front of my restaurant, breaking his lights and damaging his bumper. Abzug's driver got out of the car to see the damage. Abzug looked up and down the street, saw no one, jumped in the car--and off they went. I took down the plate number and reported it to the police. That was the last i heard of it. It's amazing that even the righteous, when given the chance, will become crooks. The reason I'm writing about this is because she treated the wait staff like common dirt. It came to the point that no one would wait on her.

Brian Dwyer

New York, NY

Jan 22 2008 - 4:49pm