Pulling It All Together
Diary by One of America's First Jewish Women Federal Judges
Judge Anne F. Schlezinger
Ron Duncan Hart, Editor
Shulamit Reinharz (Brandeis University) Introduction
Orit Rabkin (University of Oklahoma) Epilogue: The Art of Women’s Diary Writing
Anne Schlezinger’s diary gives a personal day-by-day narrative of the building of the American Jewish professional class of the Great Generation. Like many others of that generation, she lived through the sacrifices of the Depression and World War II and had a special focus on achievement in her own life. This detailed narrative gives us day by day accounting of life as she told it. Sometimes as a reader, we want more information, and then subtly, almost without knowing it, we realize that she has given us more than we were able to realize. It is in the details of lunches and dinners, parties, shopping trips, office meetings, trial hearings, and conversations with friends and colleagues in more than 17,000 diary entries that we realize the legacy of information about life during her time that she has left for us.
Although she was a strong woman and professionally driven, but at times she was unsure of herself. She talks about her desire to be a professional woman and her doubts if she is being a good wife and mother. After a failed romance she was slow to accept the attentions of the man she eventually married. Through each stage of her life she narrates her daily life, and she weaves in her concerns about the issues facing her.