e-book Sister of The Road: The Autobiography of Boxcar Bertha - as told to Dr. Ben Reitman

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Toggle navigation. New York: Sheridan House. The book and its contents are in mostly clean, bright condition. There is some light creasing to the spine and some beginning edge wear and rubbing to the spine ends.

Reitman, Ben L. (Ben Lewis) 1879-1942

The text pages are clean and bright. There is a rectangle of rubbing to the front pastedown page where a previous owner's address label was removed. He is best remembered today as radical Emma Goldman's lover. Reitman identifies the character of Bertha Thompson as an amlgam of at least three women he knew, but mostly modeled on a woman named Retta Toble.

Boxcar Bertha () - IMDb

The events of Reitmans life parallel with those of Berthas too easily to be simply a fictional coincidence. Bookseller: S. Ben L. Log-in or create an account first!

The Nabat Series offers a little something to set against the crushed hopes, banal lives, and commodification of everything. Subscribe now to be the first to hear about specials and upcoming releases. South Pacific. Title Author.

Sister of The Road: The Autobiography of Boxcar Bertha - as told to Dr. Ben Reitman

Description of this Book Another raging slab of real American history you're not likely to find in the textbooks. This preview is indicative only. The content shown may differ from the edition of this book sold on Wheelers. My Account Sign in Register.

Collecting P. T. Barnum

This is second title in the new and best-selling! It's a window into a wildly under-appreciated dropout culture that gets left out of the stultifying fairytales that pass for history books--a much more rowdy and messily interesting tradition than the guardians of propriety, steeped in those other great American traditions of puritanism and hypocrisy, let on.

Hobo jungles, bughouses, whorehouses, Chicago's Main Stem, IWW meeting halls, skid rows and open freight cars--these were the haunts of the free thinking and free loving Bertha Thompson. This vivid autobiography recounts one hell of a rugged woman's hard-living depression-era saga of misadventures with pimps, hopheads, murderers, yeggs, wobblies and anarchists. This edition has a new afterword by Barry Pateman, curator of UC Berkeley's Emma Goldman Papers, which contains information on the background of the book, and of author Dr.

Ben Reitman. Nabat books is a series dedicated to reprinting forgotten memoirs by various misfits, outsiders, and rebels. We believe that the truly interesting and meaningful lives are only to be had by dropouts, dissidents, renegades and revolutionaries, against the grain and between the cracks. The Nabat Series offers a little something to set against the crushed hopes, banal lives, and commodification of everything. It's not so much that I think true stories are somehow better than fiction, but that I appreciate them differently. For instance, I adore the novel Jane Eyre and am not in the least bit disturbed that there is no way it could be a true story, yet the movie Erin Brockovich would not be nearly so charming if it were not true.

Described as the autobiography of a hobo "free-thinking and free-loving" woman in the early twentieth century, it sounded radical and inspiring. And the book was radical and inspiring, right up until the afterward, where it was confessed that Sister of the Road was not, in fact, an autobiography, but rather a work of fiction. Let's just say that I was very annoyed. I still think that Sister of the Road is an interesting story and one worth reading. However, I would be much more interesting in reading the life story of the man who wrote it. Ben Reitman was a hobo, a writer, a doctor, an agitator, an educator, a lover of Emma Goldman and a distributor of birth control information at a time when such doing so was illegal and highly dangerous.

Now that would be an interesting story. But back to the book at hand. Once I recovered from my peevishness at being duped, I realized that Sister of the Road really did not lose much for not being literally true. After all, Reitman based this book largely on three women that he knew, as well as material from hundreds of conversations he had with various tramps, hoboes, and other people on the road throughout the course of his life.

November 2002

It remains a provocative glimpse into a way of life and an entire culture that most people were never aware existed. Boxcar Bertha grew up in communes, railway yards, and in hobo hotels that her mother, who both practiced and preached free-love, operated. Her education was primarily one of speaking with vagrants, socialist, and activists of all kinds. By the time she was sixteen, she was criss-crossing the country on trains, mostly by hoboing, very rarely paying her way, even when she had the money.


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She loved and left men, fell into a life of crime and then walked away, she spent time in a prison, a venereal disease hospital, a brothel, and working in an abortion clinic. There are very few aspects of underground life that she does not delve into. The most amazing thing about Sister of the Road is that for the majority of the book, it remains uplifting even in the midst of what might what be taken to be very dark circumstances.