Learn About the Book
Grace Hutchins and Anna Rochester, life partners and heirs to significant wealth, developed their rhetorical skills and political acumen in early twentieth-century women's organizations.
Aiming for revolution rather than reform, they lived together frugally while devoting themselves to several organizations in succession, including the Episcopal Church and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. They searched for a place where their efforts were welcomed and where they could address the root causes of social inequities.
In 1927, they joined the Communist Party USA. They helped to build the Labor Research Association where they engaged in research and wrote books, pamphlets, and articles arguing for gender and racial equality and economic justice.
Julia M. Allen’s Passionate Commitments is a love story, but more than that, this is a story of two women whose love for each other sustained their political work.
Allen examines the personal and public writings of Rochester and Hutchins to reveal under-reported challenges to capitalism as well as little-known efforts to strengthen feminism during their time.
Through an investigation of their lives and writings, this biography charts the underpinnings of American Cold War fears and the influence of sexology on political movements in mid-twentieth-century America.
Listen to an Interview
about the Book
Host Danielle Meyer interviews author Julia M. Allen on community radio station KMUZ in Salem, Oregon.
Recipient of the
2014 Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction,
presented by the Publishing Triangle!
Buy the Book
Passionate Commitments can be ordered from any bookstore, such as Powell's, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your local independent bookstore.
It also may be purchased directly from State University of New York Press.
The book is ready on Amazon for download to Kindles and other devices running the Kindle app.
Try Before You Buy
Would you like to see the Table of Contents?
Want to read Chapter One while you wait for your copy to arrive?
Go to the State University of New York Press to find more information about the book.
Read a Review
For a review by Bettina Aptheker, go to the Women's Review of Books.