Schapiro, Amy 1970-

views updated

SCHAPIRO, Amy 1970-


Born 1970, in NJ. Education: Earned M.A. (history).


Home—Washington, DC. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Rutgers University Press, 100 Joyce Kilmer Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer and civil servant. U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, social science analyst.


Millicent Fenwick: Her Way, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 2003.


Amy Schapiro is the author of the first full-length biography of Millicent Fenwick, the New Jersey congresswoman who served as the inspiration for "Doonsbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau's character Lacey Davenport. Fenwick rose from an affluent background and a job as a Vogue editor to become an active participant in both local government and the civil rights movement, and became an outspoken, liberal Republican congresswoman at the age of sixty-four. Appointed to a position in the United Nations in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan, Fenwick "is best remembered as an idiosyncratic, witty, pipe-smoking aristocrat of impeccable integrity," explained Library Journal contributor Cynthia Harrison.

Discussing her motivation for writing her book, which was sparked by a college history assignment, Schapiro noted in an interview posted on the Rutgers University Press Web site: "I think a lot can be learned from Fenwick's life that I hope would inspire others interested in pursuing a life of public service. I think she embodies the type of politician the public is yearning for—a candid, straight-talking, sincere, and hardworking elected official. Because she led such a full life, I wanted to give readers the whole picture of who she was and how that shaped her as a public figure. I want the reader to see her as more than a caricature, as someone who made a difference." Noting that Schapiro shows her skills as a "dogged researcher"—Schapiro was granted rights to Fenwick's personal papers and effects by the late congresswoman's son, Hugh Fenwick—and a writer who avoids "authorial polemics," Hill contributor Deborah Kalb added that the author "has succeeded in creating an entertaining portrait of a unique American politician."



Hill (Washington, DC), April 23, 2003, Deborah Kalb, "The Real Lacey Davenport: A Congressional Original Comes to Life."

Library Journal, April 1, 2003, Cynthia Harrison, review of Millicent Fenwick: Her Way, p. 110.

Vogue, April, 2003, Kate Bolick, review of Millicent Fenwick, p. 254.


Millicent Fenwick Her Way Web site, (April 15, 2004).

Rutgers University Press Web site, (October 12, 2003), interview with Schapiro.*