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// Praise for The Firebrand and the First Lady //


Pauli Murray takes a break at a rummage sale sponsored by a local Unitarian church in Hancock, New Hampshire, November 11, 1955. On the back of this snapshot, she wrote, “To Mrs. Roosevelt, with great affection.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library)

Patricia Bell-Scott The Firebrand and the First Lady

“Thorough and engaging . . . Amazement, annoyance, impatience, assistance, resistance, challenge, focus, concern and love flowed in the decades of correspondence between Murray and Roosevelt . . . Their lives were each the richer for it, and our lives are richer for the accounting of their friendship in this important book.”

—Julianne Malveaux, <em>The Washington Post</em>

“[Written] with the grace, compassion and diligent attention to detail that characterized both its principle subjects . . . ‘The Firebrand’ is someone whose inspiration is sorely needed – and not only by black women.”

—Gene Seymour, <em>USA Today</em>

“It’s safe to say that The Firebrand and the First Lady will deservedly capture several literary awards this year. More than two decades in the making . . . a definitive biography of Murray, a trailblazing legal scholar and a tremendous influence on Mrs. Roosevelt, who deepened her commitment to civil rights until her death in 1962.”

—Patrik Henry Bass, <em>Essence</em>

“Tremendous . . . 20 years in the making.”

—IRIN CARMON, <em>The New York Times Book Review</em>

“Thrilling . . . masterful . . . Powerful and important.”

—KATE TUTTLE, <em>Boston Globe</em>

“Extraordinary and inspiring.”

—SARA CATTERALL, <em>Shelf Awareness</em>

“The author’s dual portrait brings our attention to Murray’s important American story.”

—ALONZO L. HAMBY, <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>

“Bell-Scott meticulously chronicles Eleanor Roosevelt’s and Pauli Murray’s boundary-breaking friendship, telling each remarkable woman’s story within the context of the crises of the times, from ongoing racial violence to WWII and the vicious battle over school integration, creating sharply detailed and profoundly illuminating narrative. Roosevelt’s heroic compassion and world-altering accomplishments shine with fresh significance, while Murray’s phenomenal life of “first” delivers one astonishment after another. . . Bell-Scott’s groundbreaking portrait of these two tireless and innovative champions of human dignity adds an essential and edifying facet to American history.”

—DONNA SEAMAN, <em>BOOKLIST</em> (Starred Review)

“Bell-Scott makes a convincing case that Murray influenced Eleanor’s views on civil and human rights and though not popularly known, she should be remembered as an important leader in both the civil rights and feminist movements.”


“The fascinating, complex Murray takes center stage in this absorbing historical page-turner. … Bell-Scott brilliantly shows that the friendship equally enriched both women.”

—<em>PUBLISHERS WEEKLY</em> (Starred Review)

“A significant new exploration of the enormously important friendship between two activist crusaders in advancing the cause of civil rights for blacks and women. . . . A fresh look at Eleanor Roosevelt and a fascinating exploration of a cherished, mutually beneficial friendship.”

—<em>KIRKUS REVIEWS</em> (Starred Review)

“Bold, fast-paced, and vividly written, Patricia Bell-Scott’s dual portrait of Pauli Murray and Eleanor Roosevelt significantly enhances the story of two luminous activists who learned much from each other across the color line. This splendid book gives us significant hope for the future as we continue to struggle for justice, peace and freedom.”

—BLANCHE WIESEN COOK, author, <em>Eleanor Roosevelt, Vols I-II</em>

“Presented against the backdrop of social activism, the dual life stories of the unheralded Pauli Murray and Eleanor Roosevelt told in Patricia Bell-Scott’s important book should inspire all readers. Rarely has a friendship been dissected and analyzed with such verve and open-eyed compassion.”

—WIL HAYGOOD, <em>Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America</em>

The Firebrand and the First Lady offers a fresh look at a fascinating friendship between two vivid individuals from very different worlds — as well as a chronicle of the age-old conflict between the highest ideals and the art of the possible.”

—GEOFFREY C. WARD, author, <em>The Roosevelts: An Intimate History</em>

“With roots in personal contact, this extraordinary book of the extraordinary friendship between two extraordinary women is biography at its best: intimate while revealing of society in its time. Patricia Bell-Scott sees it all, and her view is both engrossing and encouraging.”

—NELL IRVIN PAINTER, author of <em>Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol</em>

“The extraordinary life of Pauli Murray, activist, poet, teacher, priest and “firebrand” for all seasons, is beautifully detailed in Patricia Bell-Scott’s book. Pauli clearly won the heart of Eleanor Roosevelt as both women sought to advance the cause of Negro rights–indeed all human rights—during their lives. Their history together reverberates today as the fight for equality continues, making this book important reading for all of us.”

—JANE ALEXANDER, award winning actress, "Eleanor and Franklin" and "The White House Years"

“Patricia Bell-Scott has done the painstaking research on two women who in many respects couldn’t have been more different, but in at least one respect–their unique friendship–shared a passion for truth. The particular lens through which Bell-Scott has examined the Struggle for Social Justice is their incredible friendship, filled with initial shyness and formality, spurred on by the experiences of injustice, ripened through hard work, including difficult exchanges, and brought to fruition in the lasting legacies of each. As the Episcopal Church, other religious groups, and the entire country continues to deal with the evils of racism and their lasting and destructive effects, Patricia Bell-Scott has given us a book that will inspire and give hope to all who read it.”

—THE RIGHT REVEREND MARY D. GLASSPOOL, Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of Los Angeles