The Unknown Andrea Dworkin

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Author’s Note: Most people know Andrea Dworkin as the radical feminist who launched a campaign against pornography in the 1980s and ’90s, but this is only one slice of a fascinating life of activism. I’ve recently completed a full-scale biography of Andrea Dworkin that will be published by the New Press in 2020. It’s based on her remarkably rich (and previously closed) archive at Schlesinger Library at Harvard.

         Andrea and I had become friendly in the early 1970s as a result of working together in the anti-Vietnam War organization redress. When first starting work on her biography, I’d expected to describe our relationship in some detail, but in the upshot did so only in bare outline. The compelling narrative of her public life became the focus of the biography. Yet since our friendship centrally involved the early years of the Gay Academic Union and throws considerable light on gay male–lesbian attempts to work together, I thought the personal story worth salvaging. Thus the article that follows.      — MD

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Martin Duberman’s recent books includeHas the Gay Movement Failed? andJews Queers Germans: A Novel History.

 

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