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Ruth Bryan Owen: Congresswoman and Diplomat, An Intimate Portrait

Rudd Brown

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ISBN 10: 1497442028 / ISBN 13: 9781497442023
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Title: Ruth Bryan Owen: Congresswoman and Diplomat,...

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1.

About this title


Ruth Bryan Owen was endowed with intelligence, beauty, charm, and tremendous physical energy, and she knew how to use them all. Together with a burning ambition and a drive toward center stage, these qualities fueled a career that was a remarkable one for her time and place. She was the eldest daughter of William Jennings Bryan, who was Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson and three-time nominee of the Democratic Party to be President of the United States. Gifted with her father's oratorical skills and the exceptional talent needed for public life, she was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives from the Old South. She subsequently spent four years as minister to Denmark, the first woman to fill such a post in the history of the U.S. diplomatic corps. She was also the first woman on the popular Chautauqua lecture circuit to receive pay equal to men’s.

This attentive and loving memoir, written by her youngest daughter, provides an intimate portrait of a remarkable woman who became a genuine celebrity during the 1920s and 1930s, when the cult of celebrity was just taking shape. She lived an active life of public speaking and international government service, published several books, and taught college classes, all the while raising her children and providing support for them and her invalid husband. Long before Second Wave Feminism, she was an icon of women’s capacity to manage both a public and a private life. Her life story encompassed two world wars, the presidencies of Harry S. Truman and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and involved such public figures as Fannie Hurst, Sam Rayburn, and William Randolph Hearst. Yet at the peak of her career, seeking relief from the strains of public life, she made the mistake of marrying a man who put an end to her diplomatic and political life.

A woman of substance, Ruth Bryan Owen played an important role in American politics in an age when such involvement was rare, and thus serves as an early figure in the history of American feminism. But above all, the book reveals the private life of a very human woman, with rich and sometimes difficult relationships, who struggled to balance her personal needs to be loved and cared for with her desire to make the world a better and fairer place for all.

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