Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel” as Want to Read:
Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  19 reviews
At eight years old, Bettina Aptheker watched her family's politics play out in countless living rooms across the country when her father, historian and U.S. Communist Party leader Herbert Aptheker, testified on television in front of the House on Un-American Activities Committee in 1953. Born into one of the most influential U.S. Communist families whose friends included ...more
ebook, 375 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Seal Press (CA) (first published September 5th 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Intimate Politics, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Intimate Politics

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  19 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel
Sean Egan
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really potent, fascinating history of a life of radical politics. Particularly growing up as a Red Diaper Baby, the Berkeley Free Speech movement and the trial of Angela Davis. There are also long sections on spirituality which I found a little dull, but this absolutely worth your time.
Nancy
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely an interesting book, but I'm not quite sure what to make of it.

I enjoyed the inside-the-movement looks at 60s history. Aptheker's descriptions of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley and the trial of Angela Davis are compelling. However, some of the personal is political sections seemed a bit far-fetched. Ms. Aptheker interprets what seem like normal childhood experiences through a political lens. Similar events in my life portended nothing in particular. I loved some of my
...more
Jimmy Tarlau
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very engrossing memoirs of a young Communist activist whose father was one of the leading theoretician/historians of the US Communist Party. Underneath her activism in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, defending Angela Davis and her leftist activism was a tremendous amount of internal turmoil highlighted by her father's sexual abuse of her as a young child. It was quite moving for me to know of her from a distance and having no idea (along with everyone else) about the turmoil she was going ...more
Ilene Richards
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bettina Aptheker carries a revolutionary fire within her. She is a popular professor at UC Santa Cruz and founder of the Department of Women's Studies. The daughter of noted historian and Marxist scholar, Herbert Aptheker, Bettina tells the story of her life within and without the Communist Party...Although much of the book is about the radical politics of the 1960s which she, as a student at UC Berkeley and an open member of the Communist Party--helped to shape she never hesitates to speak ...more
Bart
Oct 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel is the autobiography of Bettina Aptheker living those subtitles and more. Unfortunately, some of the "more" or last part of the book is about how Aptheker becomes a hippie and appropriates Buddhism. The rest (or most) of the book is engaging and full of clear and strong analysis of the racist, classist, capitalist hetero-patriarchy state. I found Aptheker's work on Angela Davis' case particulary interesting ...more
Pilouetta
Jan 23, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: half-way
i just picked this up after a few months hiatus. i like aptheker's socialist take on contemporary history like the cuban missle crisis, black panthers, SDS; in addition to her feminist spin on the communist party with great anecdotes about shirley graham du bois and angela davis. aptheker also takes on don herbert, her father and party father, as having molested her as a child, in addition to the misogyny and sexual harassment she encounted as a member of the CP in berkeley during the sixties. a ...more
Chani
May 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It is one of those I read from beginning to end with barely a break. Having been involved in the radical movement in the 70s and early 80s, running in the same circles, I had an opportunity to know Bettina. She is a warm, lovely woman who has gained wisdom over the years. We can all learn from her.

Yay, Bettina!


Jamie
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend this book for any activist. The struggles between the personal and the political and how to combine those two to become a better activist are developed excellently within this memoir.

I think a significant chunk of the end could've been chopped off as the book lost steam around the middle. Nevertheless, I welcome a writer sharing her personal struggle in this manner.
Heather
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like autobiographies - especially emotional ones about radical women, then you'll like this one! I did, and I also learned a lot about other folks involved in the civil rights and free speech movements of the 1960s.
Carolyn
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bettina was a professor of mine at UC Santa Cruz and a real-life mentor. Her book is truly inspiring. She reminds me that being yourself at all costs is what makes life rich, and that compassion and love are what really change the world.
Jamilah
May 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Revisiting the political climate of the sixties and seventies, as well as my college days of the 80s. This book is written by a former professor of mine, and I enjoyed it a lot - she's a fantastic writer, very honest and brilliant.
Carolyn
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an amazing memoir! Bettina describes her role in various social movements with a critical eye. Her passion and intellect come across excellently in her writing, reading her book has helped me admire her as my professor in an entirely new way.
Miranda
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this for its honesty, insight, and sheer fascination as to the academics and operations of the Communist Party. A really touching and ultimately uplifting read.
Margaret Laffan
Jun 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe the best book I've read in the last year. TOTALLY inspiring..and not just because she's my professor!
Sara
Apr 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this woman.
Mell
Liked the activist parts more than the family and relationship parts.
Carrie
memoir,women's studies
Carol
rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2020
Moni White
rated it it was amazing
Oct 23, 2012
Jen
rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2007
Leah
rated it liked it
Jun 02, 2009
Carol Kessler
rated it it was ok
Feb 13, 2015
Pat Bakalian
rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2016
Annika
rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2010
Megan
rated it it was amazing
Jul 18, 2015
Higgity
rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2011
Allison
rated it it was amazing
Oct 29, 2008
Joy Jay
rated it really liked it
Oct 09, 2017
molly
rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2008
Elizabeth
rated it liked it
May 16, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
  • Stone Butch Blues
  • Bluets
  • A Little Life
  • Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
  • My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness
  • Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution
  • The Argonauts
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America
  • The Uncollected David Rakoff: Including the entire text of Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish
  • Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems
  • Ernest Mandel: A Rebel's Dream Deferred
  • Assassination Vacation
  • Unfamiliar Fishes
  • Half Empty
  • The Scientists: A Family Romance
  • The Naked Civil Servant
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts...
25 likes · 8 comments