Bella Abzug Study Guide

What Would Bella Abzug Do
In This Time of Change?

Bella Abzug was a towering figure of the second half of the 20th century. She was an advocate, organizer, lawyer, civil rights worker, Congresswoman, feminist, and an international human rights and environmental activist. In a heady era of political opportunity, she understood power and used whatever tools were at hand – the pressure of protest, the force of law, the give-and-take of the legislative process – to move forward on a broad agenda that changed America. Then she took that change global, transforming the way the UN does business and inspiring new generations of activists around the world.

What would Bella Abzug do today? What lessons from the history of those transformative times does she have for those of us interested in the dynamics of change? What strategies made her so effective, what family and collegial relationships gave her resilience and flexibility, and what personal qualities fired her courage? Today, in yet another era of political opportunity, we ask not just what would she do, but what will WE do – and how will we do it.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Bauman Foundation, the National Council for Research on Women worked with authors Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom to compile this learning and organizing guide for Bella Abzug: How one Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied Against War and for the Planet, and Shook Up Politics Along the Way.

To purchase the book, click here.

To visit Susanne Braun Levine’s website, click here:

Hear Bella’s voice in this September 2008 episode of WNYC’s Fishko Files.

See Bella in action in these video clips posted by the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute

Click here to read selected passages from the book in this November 2008 article by Don Hazen published in Alternet.

To read the New York Times Book Review critique, click here.