Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

March 20, 2003

Lenore Breslauer, 80, a founding member of the antiwar citizens group Another Mother for Peace during the Vietnam War, died of lung cancer Friday at her home in West Hollywood, Calif.

Another Mother for Peace, a grass-roots organization launched by a group of women in Los Angeles in 1967, grew to have more than 450,000 people on its mailing list, and its logo became an internationally recognized symbol for peace: A sunflower bearing the message, "War is not healthy for children and other living things."

Another Mother for Peace ceased operation as a nonprofit group in the mid-1980s. Ms. Breslauer, the mother of two, served on the organization's steering committee, worked on its newsletter and made lobbying trips to Washington with other group leaders.

"My mother had such grave concern for the world and for this horrendous war," said her daughter, Nancy Chuda. "She also was the mother of a son and she wanted so desperately for my brother not to have to serve in a war that was so terribly unjust and so inhumane - as did all these other mothers. Ironically, in my mother's life, she did lose her son."

Ms. Breslauer's son, Jon Gould, died of complications from AIDS in 1993.

Herbert Aptheker, 87, a prolific Marxist historian best known for his three-volume Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States and for editing the correspondence and writing of his mentor, W.E.B. DuBois, died Monday in Mountain View, Calif., from complications of pneumonia.

Along with his work on black history and his outspoken defense of civil rights, he was known as a dominant voice on the American left in the 1950s and '60s and as one of the first scholars to denounce American military involvement in Vietnam. His political views, and particularly a fact-finding trip to Hanoi and Beijing in 1966, resulted in threats by Washington to revoke his passport, a move that provoked a high-profile debate about the legality of State Department travel restrictions.

In another public feud, Dr. Aptheker took on the author William Styron, after the publication of his best-selling 1967 novel The Confessions of Nat Turner, a re-creation of the 1831 Virginia slave insurrection. He, as well as some black writers and historians, accused Styron of distorting the record and promoting racial stereotypes. Styron, who called his book a "meditation on history," hotly rejected Dr. Aptheker's view, saying it was tainted by politics.

Among his lasting contributions was the editing of the DuBois letters. Yet when DuBois appointed Dr. Aptheker his literary executor in 1946 and subsequently turned over to him his vast correspondence shortly before his death in 1963, the move was vocally criticized in the black intellectual community.

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