Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews

Mary Krane Derr, et al

Author of  ProLife Feminism: Yesterday And Today

Review  |  Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt

Mary Krane Derr, et al's Bio:
Mary Krane Derr

Mary Krane Derr is an American descendant of Irish An Gorta Mor survivors, working-class Polish laborers like the one on this book's cover, Alsatian war refugees, and a Separatist minister driven from England by religious persecution. As a scholarship student, she achieved a bachelor's degree in biology from Bryn Mawr, a nineteenth-century women's college, and a master's from the University of Chicago school of social work, cofounded (she discovered later) by her distant cousin Julia Lathrop. Derr practiced as a reproductive counselor for five years until retiring because she could not find a job that accommodated her multiple disabilities. She is now a freelance writer and activist whenever possible for various nonviolence causes. She has served on the boards of Consistent Life, the Feminism and Nonviolence Studies Association, and Feminists for Life of America. She has published her poetry in small-press magazines like Many Mountains Moving, anthologies like Hunger Enough: Living Spiritually in A Consumer Society (ed. Nita Penfold, Pudding House, 2004), and such websites as Poets Against the War ( She has read it at the Chicago Cultural Center and the 1999 Parliament of the World's Religions, Cape Town, South Africa. Her nonfiction has been published by Utne Reader, the disability rights magazines Mouth and Ragged Edge, and the independent Turkish news agency BIAnet. She lives on Chicago's South Side with her English teacher wonder-spouse, vocal music scores (she is a mezzo soprano), lots of fragrant houseplants, and an organic community garden plot. Their only child, who came from an unplanned pregnancy of truly crisis proportions, is now almost grown, living well with her learning disabilities, working as a home health aide to a severely disabled young friend, and preparing to become a special education teacher.

Rachel MacNair

Rachel MacNair was Feminists for Life president from 1984 to 1994. She graduated from Earlham College (a Quaker school) in 1978 with a major in Peace and Conflict Studies, and earned her Ph.D. in psychology and sociology in 1999. Her Quaker heritage places her activism in the tradition of Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony. She first agitated for social justice at age 13 with the antiwar movement during the war in Vietnam. She has vigorously protested nuclear weapons production, nuclear energy use, and U.S. military interventions. She is a vegan and has been active in vegetarian concerns. She has long been committed to the feminist and prolife movements.

MacNair comes from an activist family: her grandfather was arrested in a sit-in in Talladega, Alabama, during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and her mother and grandparents attended the 1963 March on Washington while her father watched the four-year-old MacNair at home. That she would have feminist understandings, like the rest of her family, was an expected development. Her initial reaction to the Roe v. Wade, decision was that this was a good thing, since fewer women would be killed by back-alley butchers; she changed her mind when she realized what legalization meant instead, as she details below. When she saw that the dynamics of violence, such as the dehumanization of its targets, applied in abortion-not only against the fetal child, but also against the mother-she felt compelled to take a stronger stand.

Since this book's first edition, she has researched a little-studied but critical subject: the psychological effects of killing on those who do the killing, ranging from abortion staff to combat veterans to those who carry out executions. She presents her findings in her book Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Consequences of Killing (Praeger, 2002). She has also written the college textbook The Psychology of Peace: An Introduction (Praeger, 2003), its middle-school version, Gaining Mind of Peace: Why Violence Happens and How to Stop It (Xlibris, 2003), and History Shows: Winning with Nonviolent Action, a colorful picture book on successful nonviolent campaigns throughout history (Xlibris, 2004). MacNair's online book, Achieving Peace in the Abortion War (, talks about the recent downward trend in U.S. abortion and its creation of a psychologically safer atmosphere for listening to prolife arguments. She currently directs the research arm of Consistent Life, the Institute for Integrated Social Analysis.

Linda Naranjo-Huebl

Linda Naranjo-Huebl grew up in a large family in northwest Denver, Colorado (the "North Side"). She became involved with Denver's first crisis pregnancy center in 1981 and shortly afterward joined Feminists for Life, actively serving its Denver chapter as a writer and speaker. With much help and support from her family, she returned to college and continued her education at the University of Colorado, where she obtained a Ph.D. in English specializing in Women's and American Ethnic Literature. Currently an assistant professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she also maintains a part-time residence in Denver, Colorado. She still cannot believe that she makes a living at what she loves most-reading books and talking about them (incorporating music at every opportunity). She has come to learn that the most powerful form of resistance against oppression is celebrating life; and echoing a passage in one of her favorite books, she "has seen beauty and it has burdened [her] with responsibility" (Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me Última).