Journalist, historian, anthropologist, art critic, and creative writer, Anita Brenner was one of Mexico's most 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 Brenner's intellectual growth and achievements from the 1920s through the 1940s. Drawing on Brenner's unpublished journals and autobiographical novel, as well as on her published writing, Glusker describes the origin and impact of Brenner's three major books, Idols Behind Altars, Your Mexican Holiday, and The Wind That Swept Mexico.
Along the way, Glusker traces Brenner's support of many liberal causes, including her championship of Mexico as a haven for Jewish immigrants in the early 1920s. 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.
"Susannah Glusker's biography is a balanced and well-documented analysis of the middle period of her mother's life. She demonstrates that Brenner was a significant Latin American writer, a cultural hybrid and major figure in Mexico's cultural renaissance, and a political activist who sought successfully to document the dynamics of the country of her birth. This volume is informative and intriguing, and sheds light on Anita Brenner as a complex, assertive woman who, indeed, had "a mind of her own." H-Net Reviews
* Foreword by Carlos Monsivais * Prologue * An Abbreviated Chronology of Anita Brenner's Life * Introduction *1. Nana Serapia *2. Mexico Welcomes Anita *3. A Family of Artists and Intellectuals *4. Sisters, Foes, and Role Models *5. Moving On *6. Harvesting Mexican Efforts *7. An Art Critic's Career Unfolds *8. Idols behind Altars *9. An Atypical Student *10. Flirtations, Relationships, and Love *11. Your Mexican Holiday *12. Identity, Commitment, and Activism *13. Full-fledged Menorah Journal Radical *14. Spain *15. Art Critic in the Thirties *16. A Radical Looks at Mexico: The Throttled Revolution *17. The Wind That Swept Mexico *18. Epilogue: New York, 1942 * Appendixes * Notes * Anita Brenner Bibliography * General Bibliography * Index