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A Beast No More: Emerging from the Middle State (Paperback)
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Liberalized, Radicalized, Criminalized: Three Young Women in a World of Change. On a day in June of 1950, three baby girls are born at the same time, in the same hospital. Baby Brigid goes home to a middle-class, lily-white west Cleveland suburb where her Hungarian firefighter father and Irish homemaker mother instill traditional Catholic values. Baby Babs grows up in Shaker Heights, an upper-class east Cleveland suburb where her Jewish father, a NASA astrophysicist, and her German Catholic mother, a NASA scientist, provide a stimulating life of intellectual inquiry, even as they grapple with a challenging affliction that strikes Babs early in life. Baby Rosie lives in Cleveland's colorful west side, where her Italian parents own the neighborhood grocery store, and her father serves as city councilman. The girls meet up again fourteen years later at an all girls Catholic high school in Cleveland where they develop a deep bond, and lifelong friendship. This friendship provides a foundation for survival, as they struggle against the prevailing societal norms of sexism and racism. With a vibrant backdrop of rock and roll, space exploration, and explosive cultural change, the girls enter college campuses in 1968. While there, they are liberalized, radicalized, and criminalized. Their saga evolves into an intense bildungsroman as they confront their choices to obey the calling to a higher state, or to wallow in the middle state between the divine and the beast, or, as the title quote from Hamlet suggests, to become "a beast no more."