Natalie Robins

Works

Copeland’s Cure: Homeopathy and the War Between Conventional and Alternative Medicine
"[Robins'] chief purpose is to explain the origins of homeopathy, and to show how a monomaniacal Midwestern doctor named Royal S. Copeland helped legitimize and popularize it.... With colorful examples...Robins shows how Americans' understanding of the physical world around them changed during Copeland's lifetime."
--Liesl Schilllinger, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

The Untold Journey: The Life of Diana Trilling
Throughout her life, Diana Trilling (1905-1996) wrote about profound social changes with candor and wisdom, first for The Nation and later for Partisan Review, Harpers, and such popular magazines as Vogue and McCalls. She went on to publish five books, including the best-selling Mrs. Harris: The Death of the Scarsdale Diet Doctor, written when she was in her late seventies. She was also one half of one of the most famous intellectual couples in the United States.
Diana Trilling's life with Columbia University professor and literary critic Lionel Trilling was filled with secrets, struggles, and betrayals, and she endured what she called her "own private hell" as she fought to reconcile competing duties and impulses at home and at work. She was a feminist, yet she insisted that women's liberation created unnecessary friction with men, asserting that her career ambitions should be on equal footing with caring for her child and supporting her husband. She fearlessly expressed sensitive, controversial, and moral views, and fought publicly with Lillian Hellman, among other celebrated writers and intellectuals, over politics. Diana Trilling was an anticommunist liberal, a position often misunderstood, especially by her literary and university friends. And finally, she was among the "New Journalists" who transformed writing and reporting in the 1960s, making her nonfiction as imaginative in style and scope as a novel. The first biographer to mine Diana Trilling's extensive archives, Natalie Robins tells a previously undisclosed history of an essential member of New York City culture at a time of dynamic change and intellectual relevance.


"The Untold Journey possesses a novelistic vividness and immediacy. Robins makes Diana Trilling, in all her complexity, come alive on the page. A thoroughly absorbing book about one of the most famous American intellectuals of the second half of the 20th century. " - Ross Posnock

"Natalie Robins has pulled off something of a coup. In an age when so-called objectivity has come under justified suspicion and attack, she has managed to write an exquisitely objective and fair account of one of the most contentious and arguably least objective intellectuals: the former Trotskyist and self-described liberal, anti-communist, Diana Trilling. Robins documents Trilling's interactions not only with institutions like the CIA, but also — in person and in print — with an array of intriguing personalities, among them Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer, Mary McCarthy and the entire Jewish intellectual establishment, including Alfred Kazin, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Sidney Hook, Meyer Schapiro, and of course, Diana's husband, Lionel. In the end what we get, in addition to a full history of Diana, is the equivalent of a dual biography of "Di and Li." Read it, laugh and learn." - Victor S. Navasky

"Natalie Robins' absorbing life-study of Diana Trilling is rich in surprises. The book is a fine-grained portrait of the celebrated Trilling marriage, of Lionel's private weaknesses, and his carefully concealed dependence on Diana's engagement in the making of his books. The story told includes Diana Trilling's campaign for her own place in the world of letters, and deftly characterizes the political landscape of their time. The finished portrait is shocking but humane, and is drawn with wit and art. " -Norman Rush

"Diana Trilling—difficult, imperious, "fierce and not elegant," haughty, domineering, ambitious and witty; a "family feminist"; wife, mother, essayist, and editor; anti-Communist and anti-McCarthy: she was all of this, and so much more. Natalie Robins' incisive and illuminating biography offers us a vitally revealing perspective on more than a half-century of culture wars and the New York intellectuals who so delighted in fighting them." -David Nasaw

FROM MS Magazine Summer 2017: Ten Best Feminist books:

"The Untold Journey: The Life of Diana Trilling by Natalie Robins
Robins’ book is for the true bibliophile. meticulously researched and documented, the biography is a detailed foray into the lives of a generation of writers and into the mind of literary critic, writer and intellectual Diana Trilling. Among many other things, Trilling was a feminist, politically passionate and morally assertive. Consider the journey told."


The Girl Who Died Twice: The Libby Zion Case and the Hidden Hazards of Hospitals
"A tragedy of such epic proportions has found the chronicler it has so long needed... Natalie Robins vividly re-creates the events of that desperate night and its rancorous aftermath in meticulous detail... The most knowledgeable and even-handed critique of our nation's system of medical residency training that I have yet seen in a book for general readers... A triumph of writing and a tribute to its author's compassion and insight... Robins' book will bring new reportorial and literary standards to its genre."

--Sherwin Nuland, MD, author of How We Die, winner of the National Book Award

Alien Ink: The FBI’s War On Freedom of Expression
"The definitive file on the FBI's files on writers and journalists."

--Victor S. Navasky

"Required reading for anyone interested in modern American intellectual history."

--David Traxel, The New York Times Book Review

"An important... entertaining book."

--Alan Wolfe, The Washington Post


Savage Grace
"A classic...a chilling wedding of MOMMIE DEAREST and LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO THE NIGHT."
The Washington Post

"An American fable of enduring resonance."
–Newsweek

"Sizzling, spellbinding.."
NY Daily News

Selected Works

Nonfiction
A social history of the 150-year battle between conventional and alternative medicine in America
"Investigative journalism at its best. A superb account of a case that, 'after a century of tradition,' began to change medical education... A serious study and a page-turner... Dazzling."
--
Susan Garrett, The Washington Post
"Utterly absorbing and superbly researched... Anyone interested in the FBI's decades-long war against the American writer... owes Natalie Robins an enormous debt of gratitude."

--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., New York Newsday
"A fascinating contemporary morality tale, from vivid real life."
–John Fowles
Biography

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