A Saving Remnant

The Radical Lives of Barbara Deming and David McReynolds

From the award-winning biographer and historian, a brilliant dual biography of two of the most fascinating twentieth-century political activists

“Brilliantly researched and beautifully written, [A Saving Remnant] offers a timely lesson for contemporary activists who still dare to imagine—and struggle for—a more equitable and peaceful world.” —Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Harvard University

Hailed as “remarkable” and “a must read” by Choice, A Saving Remnantis prizewinning historian and biographer Martin Duberman’s deeply revealing dual portrait that explores the fascinating political and social lives of two integral and captivating figures of the twentieth-century American left. Barbara Deming, a feminist, writer, and abidingly nonviolent activist, was an out lesbian from the age of sixteen. The first openly gay man to run for president on the Socialist Party ticket, David McReynolds was a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War and was among the first activists to publicly burn a draft card.

Duberman brings the stories of a pivotal era vividly and movingly to life with an extraordinary cast of intellectuals, artists, and activists, including Adrienne Rich, Bayard Rustin, Allen Ginsberg, and a young Alvin Ailey. Telling a complex narrative, “Duberman has made it simply and brilliantly clear” (Edmund White, author of City Boy) as he deftly weaves together the connected stories of these two compelling figures in this beautiful, memorable book.


“A fine addition to gay and radical historiography.”
The Progressive
“This splendid portrait of parallel lives is deeply moving, and galvanizing.”
—Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt
“An absorbing book, radiant with an emboldening and unquenchable humanity.”
—Doug Ireland
“Martin Duberman sheds fascinating new light on the history of modern American radicalism.”
—Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Fiery Trial

News and Reviews

The American Bar Association has awarded Nell Bernstein’s Burning Down the Hous

Hold Tight Gently honored by the American Library Association

Award-winning author Martin Duberman’s Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and th

Books by Martin Duberman

Howard Zinn
A Life on the Left

Martin Duberman

Radical Acts
Collected Political Plays

Martin Duberman

Hold Tight Gently
Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS

Martin Duberman

The Martin Duberman Reader
The Essential Historical, Biographical, and Autobiographical Writings

Martin Duberman

Goodreads Reviews