The Gentle General: Rose Pesotta, Anarchist and Labor Organizer
This is the first major biography of Rose Pesotta, the organizer and vice president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) from 1933 to 1944. After moving to the United States from the Ukraine in 1913, Pesotta became involved in the resurgence of the garment workers industry, women s labor colleges, and labor activism. While working for the union, she confronted serious opposition as a woman and an anarchist within an all-male bureaucracy.
This book chronicles Pesotta s life while exploring a number of personal political themes. The author examines Pesotta s relationships and friendships as they reflect the issues of gender, power, and sexuality, paying particular attention to her relationships with Sacco and Vanzetti and with Emma Goldman. In the course of this biography, Leeder portrays the inherent conflicts between anarchism and bureaucratic organization and between female consciousness and male-dominated institutions. The book explores the potential for pragmatic activism by social visionaries and offers clear contextual frameworks within which to compare and contrast Pesotta to others in similar historical roles.
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