This is a wonderful biography that should be a model for future biographies of women and other human beings who have been overlooked by HIStory. What I especially like about it is the way that the author draws a full portrait of Marie Equi, someone whose most ordinary concerns -- her concern for the welfare of others -- led directly to a radical politics. Equi's radicalism is written as a natural and essential response to her times. Radicalism usually is a natural and essential response, but it's not always portrayed that way. It's more often sensationalized or over-theorized, or both.
I also really appreciate this book as a study of the interrelationships between Oregon and California, two neighbors that have sometimes seemed to share less than the span of their common border would suggest.
Helquist's biography of Equi peels back to become a human geography of these "two" places that are really magnetic draw points on a spectrum of human geography that spans one long common stretch of the west coast.
I'm also moved any time one person looks across gaps of time and gender and puts so much work into being a living ally for another. (How many other superlative and sympathetic biographies of historic Lesbian figures are written by male allies?). Thank you, Mr. Helquist!
MEGAN PRELINGER, cultural historian & archivist, co-founder of Prelinger Library in San Francisco, author of "Inside the Machine: Art and Invention In the Electronic Age" commented on my Amazon page:
Author Historian Activist