Fire in My Soul

Fire in My Soul

Impassioned civil rights activist, champion of women's rights, hard-driving legislator -- U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is known in Washington as the "Warrior on the Hill." Fire in My Soul is the story of Norton's extraordinary political career, told from a personal perspective.
Author Joan Steinau Lester met Norton in 1958 while they were both students at Antioch College. Fire in My Soul charts their longstanding friendship and tells of Norton's rise to leadership -- from her early on-campus activism to demanding a Senate hearing for Anita Hill to standing before the Supreme Court to uphold first amendment rights. Filled with scores of Lester's conversations and correspondence with Norton, interviews with Norton's colleagues and confidantes, and dozens of original photographs, Fire in My Soul is a compelling biography of one of the greatest political pioneers in American history.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743407885 | 
  • January 2004
List Price $23.99
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: The Ancestors

I am not what you call me. I am what I respond to.

AFRICAN PROVERB

The city into which Richard Holmes stepped was a city of contradictions. In the heart of world democracy, human slavery was legal. The recently passed Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had ensured his vulnerability to recapture, for crossing a state line was no longer sure protection: those who captured fugitives would be rewarded and harboring refugees was a crime. If found, Richard Holmes could legally be whipped, resold or even executed.

"Nor do I exaggerate how I understand my great-grandfather came here," his... see more

About the Author

Joan Steinau Lester
Irene Young

Joan Steinau Lester

Joan Steinau Lester, Ed.D., is an award-winning journalist and author of four critically acclaimed books. Her writing has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including Essence, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Northern California.

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