The Political Life of Bella Abzug, 1920–1976: Political Passions, Women’s Rights, and Congressional Battles, by Alan H
Levy, marks the first full biography of Bella Abzug. Abzug was one of woman in politics in mid- and late-twentieth-century America. Levy traces the New York City world of Russian-Jewish immigrants into which Abzug was born. He then examines her education through Columbia Law School, her marriage, and her early work both as a labor attorney and as an advocate for many controversial causes, including that of an African-American falsely accused of raping a white woman in Jim Crow Era Mississippi. Levy studies Abzug’s work for nuclear disarmament, her activism against the Vietnam War, and her successful bid for Congress in 1970. From there, the biography details the myriad of issues with which Abzug grappled as a Member of Congress from 1971 to 1977, and ends with her close loss to Daniel Patrick Moynihan in a bid for the U.S. Senate in 1976. A second book, studying the rest of Abzug’s life from 1976 to 1998, is to follow.