Anita Brenner: A Mind of Her Own

Anita Brenner: A Mind of Her Own

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By Susannah Joel Glusker
Foreword by Carlos Monsivais


Journalist, historian, anthropologist, art critic, and creative writer, Anita Brenner was one of Mexico's most sympathetic and discerning interpreters. Born to a Jewish immigrant family in Mexico a few years before the Revolution of 1910, she matured into an independent liberal who defended Mexico, workers, and all those who were treated unfairly, whatever their origin or nationality.

In this book, her daughter, Susannah Glusker, traces Anita Brenner's intellectual growth and achievements from the 1920s through the 1940s. Quoting extensively from Brenner's unpublished journals and autobiographical novel, as well as from her published books and articles, Glusker paints an engrossing portrait of the intellectual circles in which Brenner moved in Mexico City and New York, which included such figures as Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orzoco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Jean Charlot.

Glusker describes the origin and impact of Brenner's three major books, Idols behind Altars, Your Mexican Holiday, and The Wind That Swept Mexico, all of which grew out of a lifelong devotion to her native land--a devotion that also manifested itself in her championship of Mexico as a haven for Jewish immigrants in the early 1920s. Along the way, Glusker records Brenner's support of many liberal and radical causes, including the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War.

This intellectual biography brings to light a complex, fascinating woman who bridged many worlds--the United States and Mexico, art and politics, professional work and family life. It will be of interest to a wide-reaching audience. --excerpted from back cover