Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel

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Basic Books, Sep 26, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 549 pages
At eight years old, Bettina Aptheker watched her family's politics play out in countless living rooms across the country when her father, historian and U.S. Communist Party leader Herbert Aptheker, testified on television in front of the House on Un-American Activities Committee in 1953. Born into one of the most influential U.S. Communist families whose friends included W. E. B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Bettina lived her parents' politics witnessing first-hand one of the most dramatic upheavals in American history. She also lived with a terrible secret: incest at the hands of her famous father and a frightening and lonely life lived inside a home wrought with family tensions.A gripping and beautifully rendered memoir, Intimate Politics is at its core the story of one woman's struggle to still the demons of her personal world while becoming a controversial public figure herself. This is the story of childhood sexual abuse, abortion, sexual violence, activism, and the triumph over one's past. It's about FBI harassment and persecution, Jewish heritage, and lesbian identity. It is, finally, about the courage to speak one's truth despite the consequences and to break the sacred silence of family secrets.
 

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Contents

Bearing Witness
1
Beginnings
9
A Childhood in Two Worlds
33
Upheavals in Berkeley
87
A Wedding a Trial and a War
155
Communist Life and the Movement to Free Angela Davis
213
Coming Out and Coming Home
337
An Opening of the Heart
429
Endings
509
Looking Forward
539
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