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Anita Block

As editor of the women’s page of the New York Call, one of America’s first socialist newspapers, Anita Block ensured the section covered subjects of real social and political interest to women, commenting, “It was probably the only women’s page which never printed a recipe or a fashion note.” In 1903, Block graduated Barnard College and helped found the New York Call as its drama critic and women’s page editor, serving in both roles until the paper closed in 1923. Focusing on serious topics rather than standard women’s page fare, Block made the Call the first paper to publish Margaret Sanger’s work. After the paper closed, she continued writing about theater for other newspapers, combing Europe and the US for obscure playwrights worthy of attention. In 1926, she became the Theatre Guild’s reader of foreign plays, and in 1939, she wrote The Changing World in Plays and Theatre, exploring topics ranging from the Great War in contemporary drama to sexual morality in plays, and arguing that great plays should be read as literature, not just experienced in performance.


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Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death
Writer, Editor, Journalist, Founder

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Anita Block." (Viewed on July 4, 2020) <>.


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