Miriam Barber Judd was a missionary, a college-educated woman, a mother, a deeply faithful woman, and a strong leader for the empowerment of women. Yet the role she was most known for, at least publicly, was as the wife of Congressman Walter H. Judd. In this role, she had tea with Eleanor Roosevelt, lunch with Mamie Eisenhower, went boating with the Kennedys, met dignitaries and movie stars, and became friends with the Nixons.
In this deeply moving collection of letters, we see the depth of this amazing woman’s life. We see her as the young woman living in China in the midst of incredible civil turmoil, where she clung to her children while fleeing across the countryside to escape invasion by the Japanese. We see her yearning to be with a husband whose passion for human service keeps him at a great distance. Through her private writings, we see her fears as she raises three young daughters—practically alone. We see the tension between being dutiful wife and conflicted mistress to a man’s work. We see the strife of being an educated, strong woman at a time when a woman’s purpose was to keep house.
Miriam’s Words: The Personal Price of a Public Life is more than a collection of letters—it is history unfolding. It is the evolution of human rights, women’s rights, and civil rights. It is the journey of one woman who was prepared for anything, but reluctant about the direction of her husband’s life in public service. Through her strength, her faith, her work with the YWCA—we clearly see the woman behind the man. Miriam’s Words is a poignant, first-person, real-time account of a woman who set out to right wrongs, to make a difference, and to lead the way for generations to come.