In the late 90s we used to host faculty readings here, events where writing instructors would get together and read from the projects they were working on. Judith Nies, one of our teachers, read a piece about her experience working as a congressional assistant in the late 60’s (a first for a woman at that time). That piece grew into a book that was just published, The Girl I left Behind – A Narrative History of the Sixties. Porter Square books hosts a publication party for her tomorrow, June 19, at 7:00 p.m. C-SPAN might show up for a taping.
You can read a snippet of the book in a story she wrote for Tufts Magazine. From the story:
One spring evening in 1968 as we were leaving the courts, we ran into a former classmate of Mac’s from Yale. Paul Gorman would eventually leave the political world to collaborate with the guru Ram Dass (aka Richard Alpert, A52) on such spiritual classics as The Only Dance There Is. But then he worked on Capitol Hill as the chief staff assistant for a group of liberal congressmen who were the key congressional opponents of the Vietnam War. When he asked what I did, I told him I was a lobbyist for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the oldest peace organization in the country. “That’s a great organization,” he said. Astonishingly, not only had he heard of WILPF but he knew its members included the only two American women to have won the Nobel Peace Prize. He thought for a moment. “You should apply for my job,” he said. “You have the right background.” I was speechless. No women I knew worked as professionals on Capitol Hill. “I mean it,” he said. “Send me your résumé, and I’ll pass it on to the right people.”
You can read more about Judith and her book at her website: judithnies.com.