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Half a Century
Description: - HALF A CENTURY is the autobiography of one of the original civil rights advocates in America, a woman whose name has been forgotten, but who helped set the stage for the social progress politics in the later 19th century. As well as being an activist in the campaign against slavery, Jane Grey Swisshelm spent much of her adult life as an accomplished newspaper publisher and editor. During the Civil War, she became a nurse in a Union hospital, garnering the respect of doctors and officials because of her tenacious desire to give only the best care to her patients. In her position as editor she was one of the first women, if not the first, to occupy such a position in the media. Not content with simply reporting on the humanitarian issues of the day, she imbued her newspapers with a strong political edge that made her more renowned than many of her male colleagues. Swisshelm's criticisms, which ignored the intricacies of ideology and moved into the realm of denigrating perceived character flaws, made her famous, but eventually caused serious harm to her career and personal life.
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