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Fierce and Fearless

Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress
The first biography of trailblazing legislator Patsy Takemoto Mink, best known as the legislative champion of Title IX "Every girl in Little League, every woman playing college sports, and every parent-including Michelle and myself-who watches their daughter on a field or in the classroom is forever grateful to the late Patsy Takemoto Mink."-President Barack Obama, on posthumously awarding Mink the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014 Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first woman of color and the first Asian American woman elected to Congress. Fierce and Fearless is the first biography of this remarkable woman, who first won election to Congress in 1964 and went on to serve in the House for twenty-four years, her final term ending with her death in 2002. Mink was an advocate for girls and women, best known for her work shepherding and defending Title IX, the legislation that changed the face of education in America, making it possible for girls and women to participate in school sports, and in education more broadly, at the same level as boys and men. Mink's life is wonderfully chronicled by eminent historian Judy Tzu-Chun Wu and Gwendolyn Mink, Patsy's daughter, a noted political science scholar and first-hand witness to the many political struggles that her mother had to overcome. Featuring family anecdotes, vignettes, and photographs, Fierce and Fearless offers new insight into who Mink was, and the progressive principles that fueled her mission. Wu and Mink provide readers with an up-close understanding of her life as a third-generation Japanese American from Hawaii-from her childhood on Maui to her decades-long career in the House, working with noted legislators like Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, and Nancy Pelosi. They follow the evolution of her politics, including her advocacy for race, gender, and class equality and her work to promote peace and environmental justice. Fierce and Fearless provides vivid details of how Patsy Takemoto Mink changed the future of American politics. Celebrating the life and legacy of a woman, activist, and politician ahead of her time, this book illuminates the life of a trailblazing icon who made history.
Judy Tzu-Chun Wu (Author) Judy Tzu-Chun Wu is Professor of Asian American Studies and Director of the Humanities Center at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Doctor Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: The Life of a Wartime Celebrity and Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era. Gwendolyn Mink (Author) Gwendolyn Mink was Professor of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Smith College. She is the author and editor of many books, most recently coauthor of Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective.
Challenging myths of equal opportunity and equal treatment, Fierce and Fearless chronicles Patsy Takemoto Mink's transformative leadership as she fought for ethnic, racial, gender, and environmental justice-and an end to war-even as she encountered systemic discrimination, physical and psychological abuse, and betrayal by her party. This gripping narrative illuminates the extraordinary policy accomplishments and the astounding personal costs of a principled and pathbreaking life in U.S. politics. -- Mary Hawkesworth, author of Gender and Political Theory: Feminist Reckonings This is an exquisite biography of Patsy T. Mink, an extraordinary woman, legislator, and the force behind the passage of Title IX. The collaboration between Judy Tzu-Chun Wu and Patsy Mink's daughter, Gwendolyn Mink, is rich, productive, and compelling. They produce a subtly textured blend of personal anecdotes and memories, biography, and post-WWII historical change. Fierce and Fearless demonstrates that Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink is a singular example of politics and policy driven by vision, ethics, and values. This inside look into the Mink family is a powerful read into the fierce, egalitarian values of Patsy T. Mink. Beautifully written, inspiring, and poignant. -- Dana Y. Takagi, author of The Retreat from Race: Asian-American Admissions and Racial Politics
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