Unrecognized Labor

Many thanks for Melissa Range’s fine poem “The Grimké Sisters at Work on Theodore Dwight Weld’s American Slavery as It Is (1838)” [September 30]. The powerful book that was born from the sisters’ work, American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses, was published by the American Anti-
Slavery Society in 1839.

Theodore Weld, Angelina Grimké’s husband, is generally credited as the author (though the book was published without any authors listed) because he was the head of publications at the society at the time. However, the book was really coedited by Angelina Grimké Weld, her sister Sarah Grimké, and Theodore Weld. While he shaped the structure of the book, internal evidence suggests that Grimké Weld wrote the introduction. And when the sisters clipped the articles, notices, and advertisements out of the Southern newspapers that, along with personal testimonies, became the heart of the book, they were serving as frontline editors. Furthermore, it is impossible to imagine that there were not plenty of lively discussions at the dinner table (Grimké lived with the Welds) about issues arising from work on the book.

It will take a long time, but I hope someday the book’s coeditors will be correctly identified. In my forthcoming book on the Grimké sisters, I will make that case.

Louise W. Knight
evanston, ill.

Taking Offense

The September 30 editorial “Operation Enduring War” concluded with a statement that there was “no purpose” to continuing the Afghanistan War other than to “avoid losing.” The Nation forgets or ignores that for 18 years, this “war of vengeance” successfully prevented further attacks on US soil. With the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban can be expected to take control of the Afghan government and impose strict Sharia, which will eliminate freedoms and oppress women. Furthermore, the Taliban and Al Qaeda could resume attacks on American interests within the United States and worldwide.
Donald Salberg, MD
ann arbor, mich.

“Operation Enduring War,” indeed. Does George W. Bush still think it’s about freedom? Freedom for whom? Certainly not for our troops, who have to endure deployment after deployment, and not for their family members, who must endure long separations and anxiety. It isn’t even freedom for Afghanistan, either. Enduring war doesn’t make me feel safe. In my eight decades, there have been very few years when we weren’t fighting someone somewhere, and we have little to show for it.
Esther Leonard

Hope Amid Troubles

Thank you for Adam McGibbon’s hopeful story “Leaps of Faiths” [September 23]. Having just returned from Belfast, I can report that people in the city seemed worried. With the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive more than two years ago and with the danger of Brexit, they fear the Troubles will start again. On the Nationalist (once called the Catholic) side, murals mostly blasted Trump or depicted leftist themes along with “No Brexit” signs. In the Protestant neighborhoods, there were many British flags, and the murals celebrated heroic Protestant militias. It will be up to the parents and children profiled in McGibbon’s story to spare Northern Ireland from this growing dread.
Mike Boland
fishers, ind.