University of Rochester Opens Archives of World War II Spy to Researchers

bondurantThe River Campus Libraries of the University of Rochester has announced that the papers of Joan Bondurant are now available for researchers, students, and the general public. Bondurant was a spy during World War II and later became an educator and proponent of nonviolent social activism to promote change.

Dr. Bondurant was born in Great Bend, Kansas, in 1918. During World War II she worked for the Office of Strategic Services in San Francisco translating intercepted Japanese transmissions and documents. In 1944, Bondurant was sent to India and turned her intelligent gathering efforts on the leaders of the movement for Indian independence. In India, she studied the work of Mahatma Gandhi and became an advocate of his nonviolent tactics for social activism. Dr. Bondurant was the author of Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict (Princeton University Press, 1958).

When Bondurant returned to the United States, she earned a Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Berkeley in 1952. She served on the Berkeley faculty until 1970 and then taught at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Dr. Bondurant died in 2006.

The papers were donated to the department of rare books, special collections, and preservation at the University of Rochester in 2012 by Bondurant’s friend and editor Edna Cardish. The collection includes correspondence, lecture notes, manuscript drafts, photographs, and several home movies.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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