368 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 20 halftones, notes, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3079-3
Published: April 2017
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3080-9
Published: February 2017
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Awards & distinctions
2017 Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction, North Carolina Literary and Historical Association
Weil made national headlines during an election in 1922 when, casting her vote, she spotted and ripped up a stack of illegally marked ballots. She campaigned against lynching, convened a biracial council in her home, and in her eighties desegregated a swimming pool by diving in headfirst. Rogoff also highlights Weil’s place in the broader Jewish American experience. Whether attempting to promote the causes of southern Jewry, save her European family members from the Holocaust, or support the creation of a Jewish state, Weil fought for systemic change, all the while insisting that she had not done much beyond the ordinary duty of any citizen.
About the Author
Leonard Rogoff is research historian for the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina and author of several books, including Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina.
For more information about Leonard Rogoff, visit the Author Page.
"A must-read for those interested in Jewish women's history. . . . Will also be inspirational and highly relevant for anyone interested in progressive politics and activism."--Library Journal
"The world came to Gertrude Weil's door, and Leonard Rogoff shows . . . that she, in turn, bridged worlds. . . . Explores the unique intersectionality of social moment and movement her life offers."--Foreword Reviews
“In capturing the expansive life of a southern lady, clubwoman, activist, and Jew, Rogoff has made important contributions to US Jewish, women's and southern histories. Highly recommended.”--Choice
“Invites further research into the history of southern Jewish women’s organizations, specifically how these women’s racial and class identities both broadened and constrained their otherwise cosmopolitan worldviews.”--The Journal of Southern History
“Though today Weil is largely not remembered, Rogoff, in the first full-length biography of her, offers a fascinating and informative account that not only examines her activism but also effectively situates her within the context of American social, economic, and political history.”--The Journal of American History
“Goldsboro-born reformer Gertrude Weil was so modest about her accomplishments that she would just as soon have let the dust gather on her memory. But her humane and almost super-human engagement with the social, political, and moral advance of twentieth-century North Carolina’s workers, women, and children (black and white, Jews and Gentiles) makes Rogoff’s comprehensive, clear-eyed volume a moving and very welcome addition to the annals of Jewish history, women’s history, and the progressive tradition that still shapes the Tar Heel state today. Not all her battles were won—and many still remain—but this didn’t stop Gertrude Weil and it shouldn’t stop us.”--Emily Bingham, author of Irrepressible