Sister of the Road: The Autobiography of Boxcar Bertha

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Another raging slab of real American history you're not likely to find in the textbooks. This is second title in the new (and best-selling!) Nabat series that debuted with Jack Black's You Can't Win. It's a window into a wildly under-appreciated dropout culture that gets left out of the stultifying fairytales that pass for history books--a much more rowdy and messily interesting tradition than the guardians of propriety, steeped in those other great American traditions of puritanism and hypocrisy, let on. Hobo jungles, bughouses, whorehouses, Chicago's Main Stem, IWW meeting halls, skid rows and open freight cars--these were the haunts of the free thinking and free loving Bertha Thompson. This vivid autobiography recounts one hell of a rugged woman's hard-living depression-era saga of misadventures with pimps, hopheads, murderers, yeggs, wobblies and anarchists.

"...her narrative is cauliflower-eared by the brutal truth."--Time

"Thompson's capacity for taking pleasure in her experiences is as striking as the enormous range of her sympathy."--Luc Sant , New York Review Of Books

Dr. Ben Reitman (1880-1942)--hobo, whorehouse physician, anarchist agitator, and tour manager/lover of Emma Goldman, was a mighty interesting character in his own right.

This edition has a new afterword by Barry Pateman, curator of UC Berkeley's Emma Goldman Papers, which contains information on the background of the book, and of author Dr. Ben Reitman.

Nabat books is a series dedicated to reprinting forgotten memoirs by various misfits, outsiders, and rebels. We believe that the truly interesting and meaningful lives are only to be had by dropouts, dissidents, renegades and revolutionaries, against the grain and between the cracks. The Nabat Series offers a little something to set against the crushed hopes, banal lives, and commodification of everything.

Also in the Nabat Series:

You Can't Win by Jack Black
TP $16.00, 1-902593-02-2 o CUSA

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User Review  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

(review originally written for bookslut) I am one of those people who always wants to know whether a movie, book, or story is true. It's not so much that I think true stories are somehow better than ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

(review originally written for bookslut) I am one of those people who always wants to know whether a movie, book, or story is true. It's not so much that I think true stories are somehow better than ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Barry Pateman is the curator of the Emma Goldman Archive at the University of California Berkeley and wrote the introduction to AK Press' Chomsky on Anarchism.

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