From the best-selling author of King Leopold's Ghost and Spain in Our Hearts comes the forgotten story of an immigrant sweatshop worker who married an heir to a great American fortune and became one of the most charismatic radical leaders of her time.
Hochschild writes movingly about an unlikely pair who also served as a potent symbol ... Hochschild is a superb writer who makes light work of heavy subjects ... Where information is scant or nonexistent, he deploys elegant workarounds that evoke a vivid sense of time and place ... Hochschild’s book shows us what a radical movement looked like from the inside, with all of its high-flown idealism and personal intrigues. Whatever protections we take for granted once seemed unfathomable before they became real.
Hochschild is among the most readable of historians ... Given their wildly different backgrounds, perhaps it's remarkable the marriage lasted as long as it did. Hochschild has done a brilliant job of bringing it to life and in doing so, illuminating the complex social and economic history of a generation whose rabble-rousers and dreamers bequeathed us such reforms as Social Security, Medicare, child labor laws and the eight-hour day.
... thoroughly engrossing, meticulously researched and well-illustrated ... Despite the book’s title, there are no fairy-tale heroes in it, which testifies to the subtlety of Mr. Hochschild’s narrative imagination ... There is indeed a literary intensity to much of Rebel Cinderella, and Mr. Hochschild is as excellent at invoking such personal confrontations as he is at summarizing, with epigrammatic clarity, complex historical developments ... Mr. Hochschild reminds us of the continuing disparity between the rich and the poor in modern U.S. society. But his book is not a cautionary tale; if there is anything to be learned from the broken lives of Rose Pastor and Graham Phelps Stokes, it’s that being human is a messy business. Of Mr. Hochschild’s two main characters, the uncharismatic Graham with his unearned wealth, less prince than princeling, bold enough to marry Rose and too conventional to tolerate her independence, perhaps seems the more familiar figure today. By contrast, Rose, more rebel than Cinderella, gloriously passionate even when she was wrong, belongs to another, fiercer time.