Human rights lawyers who spend their lives defending unpopular clients like Vietnam War draft resisters and free speech advocates can expect mostly indirect posthumous tributes. Such is the lesson of a friendly new volume, “Irrepressible: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford” by Leslie Brody, an English professor at the University of Redlands, out in October from Counterpoint Press.
“Irrepressible” is in part a dual biography of Mitford and her second husband, the radical lawyer Robert Treuhaft, for decades the bane of right-wingers and bigots across the land and abroad. Mitford and Treuhaft, who were married from 1943 until her death in 1996, formed a true partnership, and her famous exposé of the funeral industry, 1963’s “The American Way of Death,” still available in an updated edition from Vintage Books, was co-written by Treuhaft.
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