Human rights leader Jeri Laber. Shes one of the founders of Helsinki Watch, which eventually became Human Rights Watch. Her new book, The Courage of Strangers: Coming of Age with the Human Rights Movement is a memoir that is part personal history and part history of the human rights movement. Laber was executive director of Helsinki Watch from 1979 to 1995 and has written many articles for newspapers and magazines. She's been awarded the Order of Merit by President Vaclav Havel on behalf of the Czech Republic, and she's also won the prestigious MacArthur Grant.
Historian Ellen Carol Dubois teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles. She's the author of the new biography: "Harriot Stanton Blatch and the Winning of Woman Suffrage" (Yale University Press). Blatch was the daughter of the famous suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. When her mother died, Blatch carried on her mother's work, encouraging women of all classes to participate. Dubois also edited "The Elizabeth Cady Stanton-Susan B. Anthony Reader" (Northeastern University Press)
The Australian-born activist helped found and was the first president of the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and the Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND). Her new autobiography "A Desperate Passion" is about her life, activism, and the effect of notoriety on her personal life. In 1985 PSR's umbrella affiliate, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mitford died of cancer at the age of 78 on Tuesday (July 23). She was considered one of the premiere investigative journalists of her day, a muckraker in the tradition of Sinclair Lewis and John Dos Passos. Her targets included the Famous Writers School, a Midwest correspondence school, and the U.S. penal system ("Kind and Usual Punishment: The Prison Business"). Mitford's most recent book, "The American Way of Birth" (1992), declares that doctors perform too many C-Sections and de-legitimize midwifery.
Author and activist Mahnaz Afkhami lobbied for many years for women's rights in her native Iran. For the past fifteen years, she has been in exile from her country for this work. During that time, she talked with other women in exile from all over the world. Twelve of these women's stories are recorded in her new book, "Women in Exile."
Writer Grace Paley. Born in the Bronx in 1922, she's written three highly acclaimed volumes of short stories. Paley was actively involved in the feminist and anti-war movements, and regards herself as a "somewhat combative pacifist and a cooperative anarchist." Her "Collected Stories" have just been released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. (Rebroadcast from 3/26/92).
Grace Paley was New Yorks's first official woman state writer. Known for writing about neighborhoods including the Bronx and Greenwich Village, Paley now lives in Vermont. Paley is known for her collections of short stories, but is also a poet. Her new book is "New and Collected Poems."
The new president of the National Organization for Women, now in her 70s, joins Fresh Air to discuss her lifelong awareness of women's second-class status, which fueled her political activism. She hopes to use NOW to support more women running for elected office.