Paperback, 202 Pages
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In 1946, while Rosy the Riveter was taking her shop apron off and setting down her wrench for the last time, Millie Uher got into a U.S. Army surplus Jeep and drove up into the hills southwest of Maracaibo, Venezuela. In this biography written by her son, we learn she was much more than a working mother. She was a woman of the world and a rare trendsetter that changed the world without design and perhaps intent. The development and education expert would live 100 years and break ground and gender barriers as an athlete in basketball, tennis, golf, and especially alpine skiing as she trekked the globe. She dared to go where others, including men, dared not go, living her life at full speed and never once touching the brakes. From immigrant’s child to global diplomat, from rural schoolchild to urbane single mother, and from first-generation high school graduate to Ph.D., this is the story of a traditional American girl who became a bona fide adventurer.
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Sep 10, 2017This book tells the story of a young woman from a very modest background who achieves remarkable success (both professionally and in raising her family) during a historical era when society was not particularly welcoming of women to our most elite universities and/or to the highest echelons of professional success (i.e. the 1930s to 1960s). That storyline alone was so fascinating that I wound up reading this book in two extended sittings where I only reluctantly put the book down. Personally, the story captured my interest on several levels. First, the nature of her accomplishments is worthy of recognition, since this was a woman whose success was based on doing good works for literally thousands of people and families in deep need of assistance, which spanned many geographic regions of the US and South America, often necessitating making a life for her and her family in some very challenging and/or remote circumstances. Second, this was a person whose success reflected her selfless,... More > kind, caring and generous nature which, at least for me, echoes the finest qualities that I have observed in my own maternal parent, and will always stand as a benchmark that I aspire to reach. Third, the story itself has been related in a very appealing and entertaining way, courtesy of the author’s good-natured sense of humor about the family’s periodic trials and tribulations, which the author experienced first-hand as the son of this exceptional woman. In summary, this is a fascinating story, related in a very entertaining manner, and which is inspiring on many levels. Enjoy.< Less
Aug 26, 2017More than a loving son's tribute to his mother, this is the story of how Millie Uher, a maverick and first-wave feminist in many ways, shaped her life. It was one devoted to development work, the well-being of women and children near and far, while raising three children largely on her own. In Mater Gladiatrix, Richard Marin renders his mother a woman worth knowing. A brave and unconventional woman, a woman of substance.
Aug 1, 2017If you enjoy reading a fascinating biography and an interesting story, you will get both with this book. As an added bonus, each chapter is enhanced with some of Richard Marin's wonderful personal family photos, so you can actually see the characters in the story as you read along. Once you start, you will be reading late into some nights following Millie's life journey until her last blessed days at 100 years old. This book is a beautiful tribute to a remarkable woman and mother from a son who admired, respected and loved Millie Uher Marin Jenkins. Bravo Mater Millie and Filii Rich!
Jul 31, 2017The very aptly titled Mater Gladiatrix is the tale of an independent, intrepid, accomplished woman of the twentieth century, Ludmilla (Millie) Uher. The boundaries of Millie’s century-long life seemed to define many of the possibilities for self-realization and achievement for American women of her generation. Having earned a Ph.D. in the 1930s, when such a degree was beyond a rarity for her gender, and then going on to a dynamic and varied career in regional development and social work, Millie Uher was an original. Her son Richard Marin has crafted a loving yet objective narrative sewing the disparate patches of Millie’s life into a quilt of clear and consistent pattern. After reading this fascinating biography, the reader will agree with the author’s conclusion that Millie “may have invented the modern woman and broken gender barriers before anyone knew to apply labels.” In addition to being a story of one woman’s assault on the low glass ceiling of her day, however, this is also a... More > compelling account of a woman on a mission—in this case, the admirable mission of bringing assistance and survival tools to underserved populations in many diverse settings. Millie lived a life of adventure and accomplishment that took her to nearly every continent. Along the way, she entered into a somewhat nontraditional marriage with a dashing Venezuelan and subsequently raised three children—basically as a single mother. Though distinctly not a materialist, she consistently provided for her family—always on her own terms. One of the interesting devices of the book—dictated, really, by the way Millie’s life unfolded-- is that nearly every chapter is framed by a different geographical setting. The author also manages to wind thematic unity into each chapter, so that each could almost stand alone as a short story. A master storyteller, Marin has an eye for detail that transports the reader into the time and often-exotic place of each chapter. There are also abundant allusions to popular culture throughout—particularly to familiar American movies—that lend further color to individual episodes. (The chapter on her college years, “The Way They Were,” is particularly evocative of time and place.) Mater Gladiatrix is a guaranteed good read, with something for everyone. In telling the story of his mother’s life, Marin illuminates a cast of characters worthy of a good novel. At the end, one feels they know this interesting woman very well.< Less
Jul 29, 2017Rich Marin is an excellent storyteller. From the very first page until the last I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. This book is a wonderful tribute to an amazing woman, I highly recommend it!
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- Richard A. Marin (Standard Copyright License)
- July 17, 2017
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 0.79 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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