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“A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Politics of Lillian Hellman” with Alic...

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Morningside Retirement Health Services

100 LaSalle Street between Broadway and Amsterdam

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In writing about playwright and memoirist Lillian Hellman, Columbia University professor Alice Kessler-Harris looks beyond the boundaries of Hellman’s life. She presents Hellman as a fascinating and flawed woman who was also a lens through which we can study a whole series of events and trends of the 20th century. She tackled serious issues, writing of corruption, fascism and the power of money in her most famous plays — "The Children’s Hour," "The Little Foxes" and "Watch on the Rhine." Hellman, who took courses at Columbia, was a self-made woman when that was a rarity. Kessler-Harris’s book, "A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman" (Bloomsbury Press), makes it clear how complicated she was.

Kessler-Harris’ research focuses on women’s history, the labor movement and radical politics—all of which her subject exemplified. She is R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History, emerita; former president of the Organization of American Historians and the Labor and Working Class History Association. Her books include Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States; and In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth Century America.

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Morningside Retirement Health Services

100 LaSalle Street between Broadway and Amsterdam

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