As a child who came of age in a leftist family in the 1970s, I was aware of the spirited woman from New York City with the big floppy hat who had entered politics to shake things up. She was the icon Bella Abzug and is the subject of Leandra Zarnow's magisterial political biography, Battling Bella: The Protest Politics of Bella Abzug. A product of the Popular Front left-liberal progressive world of the 1930s, Abzug was a socialist Zionist, a unionist, an anti-racist, a pacifist, and a women's rights activist who sought to bring the protest energies of the 1960s into the arena of electoral politics. In 1970, she did just that when she was elected to the...

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