In 1944, when New York City native Harriet Keyserling arrived in the small South Carolina town of Beaufort, she found herself in an environment that seemed foreign to her. Coming to Beaufort with her husband - a native son and local physician - she was a liberal northerner in the conservative South and a Jew in a predominantly Christian world. These religious and political differences only intensified her feelings of being an outsider - a thread that would run through much of her life and career. After successfully raising four children and "professionally" volunteering for most of her adult life, Keyserling became involved in state and local politics. Driven by passion for the causes she supports, she organized a chapter of the League of Women Voters, became the first woman to serve on the Beaufort County Council, and, at the age of fifty-four, was elected to the state General Assembly. She served for sixteen years before retiring in 1992, when the growing rancor and partisanship of the legislature became intolerable for her.
Against the Tide tells the intensely personal story of an unconventional politician struggling to gain self-confidence, beat the odds, and make a lasting difference. Tracing Keyserling's journey into the world of "good ol' boy" Southern politics and her labors to reform the political system in South Carolina, it is the story of a woman who arrived a Yankee liberal and became an effective eight-term legislator in the South Carolina House of Representatives. In the new preface to this paperback edition, Keyserling brings her story up to the present and discusses its relevance to a radically different political scene.
Harriet Keyserling graduated from Bamard College with honors in economics and mathematics. She lives in Beaufort, South Carolina.
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