Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953) is frequently considered the most significant American female composer in the twentieth century. With Aaron Copland and Henry Cowell she was a key member of the 1920s musical avant-garde, and she was the first woman to win a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in music composition. But her legacy extends far beyond the cutting edge of modern music. Collaborating with poet Carl Sandburg on fork song arrangements in the twenties, and with the famous folk-song collectors John and Alan Lomax in the 1930s, she emerged as a central figure in the American fork music revival. In addition, she became an energetic proponent of social change and devoted much of her last decades to progressive causes. This engrossing new biography emphasizes the choices Crawford Seeger made in her roles as composer, activist, teacher, wife and mother.