Anonymous in Their Own Names.

Author:Romeo, Lisa
Position:Book review

Susan Henry (author); ANONYMOUS IN THEIR OWN NAMES; Vanderbilt University Press (Nonfiction: Biography) 35.00 ISBN: 9780826518460

Byline: Lisa Romeo

Three remarkable lives, intertwined via social circles, professional achievements, and a shared commitment to progressive ideas: if only this trio were men, everyone would know their names. Alas, it is their three husbands whose names we know better: Henry L. Bernays, "father of public relations," Harold Ross, founding editor of The New Yorker, and Heywood Broun, influential newspaper columnist. Yet each of the women, whose lives are scrupulously chronicled in this book, made hugely substantial, professionally astute contributions to their husband's ventures. All three were ardent early feminists, refusing even in the 1920s to relinquish maiden names; all inhabited Manhattan at a heady time for media and social life; all three worked in journalism or affiliated fields; and all married later than the expected norm because they were already working as full-time professionals.

Doris E. Fleischman (married to Bernays), Ruth Hale (married to Broun), and Jane Grant (married for a critical time to Harold Ross), were the ultimate strong women behind successful men. But they did not work in their husband's shadows, exactly; among certain knowledgeable fellow professionals, their skills and savvy were known and often acknowledged -- especially, and somewhat unusually for the time, by their...

To continue reading