PERSONALITY: Bellacose Abzug

In the vaguely 18th century parlance of House parliamentarians, she is "the gentlewoman from New York." Gentle? It has been some time since the U.S. Congress has seen the likes — male or female — of Bella Abzug, the freshman from Manhattan's 19th District. Bella is in the eye of the beholder, and like all true originals, she sometimes risks becoming a caricature of herself.

Her partisans know her as a raucously passionate crusader for minority rights, Women's Lib and the antiwar movement, a truculent and courageous woman. To the less friendly, she...

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