U.S. History As Women's History

New Feminist Essays

Edited by Linda K. Kerber, Alice Kessler-Harris, Kathryn Kish Sklar

488 pp., 6 x 9, 10 illus

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4495-3
    Published: March 1995
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-6686-3
    Published: November 2000

Gender and American Culture

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This outstanding collection of fifteen original essays represents innovative work by some of the most influential scholars in the field of women's history. Covering a broad sweep of history from colonial to contemporary times and ranging over the fields of legal, social, political, and cultural history, this book, according to its editors, 'intrudes into regions of the American historical narrative from which women have been excluded or in which gender relations were not thought to play a part.' The book is dedicated to pioneering women's historian Gerda Lerner, whose work inspired so many of the contributors, and it includes a bibliography of her works.

The contributors include:

Linda K. Kerber on women and the obligations of citizenship

Kathryn Kish Sklar on two political cultures in the Progressive Era

Linda Gordon on women, maternalism, and welfare in the twentieth century

Alice Kessler-Harris on the Social Security Amendments of 1939

Nancy F. Cott on marriage and the public order in the late nineteenth century

Nell Irvin Painter on 'soul murder' as a legacy of slavery

Judith Walzer Leavitt on Typhoid Mary and early twentieth-century public health

Estelle B. Freedman on women's institutions and the career of Miriam Van Waters

William H. Chafe on how the personal translates into the political in the careers of Eleanor Roosevelt and Allard Lowenstein

Jane Sherron De Hart on women, politics, and power in the contemporary United States

Barbara Sicherman on reading Little Women

Joyce Antler on the Emma Lazarus Federation's efforts to promulgate women's history

Amy Swerdlow on Left-feminist peace politics in the cold war

Ruth Rosen on the origins of contemporary American feminism among daughters of the fifties

Darlene Clark Hine on the making of Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia

About the Authors

Linda K. Kerber, May Brodbeck Professor of History at the University of Iowa, is author of Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America.
For more information about Linda K. Kerber, visit the Author Page.

Alice Kessler-Harris, professor of history at Rutgers University, is author of Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States.
For more information about Alice Kessler-Harris, visit the Author Page.

Kathryn Kish Sklar, Distinguished Professor of History at the State University of New York, Binghamton, is author of Florence Kelley and the Nation's Work: The Rise of Women's Political Culture, 1830-1900.
For more information about Kathryn Kish Sklar, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"There are many lessons for historians and political activists in this valuable collection. It succeeds in celebrating the power of gender analysis and demonstrating that women's contribution must be seen and taught as an essential part of U.S. history."--Women's Review of Books

"[An] exciting collection of feminist writings by some of the most acute historians writing today. . . . This is a collection of work of inestimable worth and interest, valuable for all American historians, not only feminists."--Journal of Southern History

"U.S. History as Women's History is an impressive contribution to the pursuit of knowledge. Buy it, read it, assign it, and use it."--North Carolina Historical Review

"U.S. History as Women's History is theoretically literate without being highly theorized. . . . It demonstrates the extraordinary importance of analyzing gender within historically specific contexts also shaped by race, class, political structures, and culture. . . . The result is a richly dynamic view of the past, which no brief summary can convey. . . . This is history that matters, that makes a difference."--Journal of American History

"This evocative and stirring collection of essays to honor Gerda Lerner, a foremost pioneer of feminist and multiracial history, does full justice to the range of her challenging vision: remove barriers, think boldly, understand power, end the silences, transform the margins, make a difference. Like the woman it honors, this collection is a work of profound integrity: courageous, path-breaking, powerful, important. Every scholar and activist concerned about public life and social change, feminist consciousness and empowerment, civil rights, human rights, and dignity for all people, will want to read and ponder this book."--Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt [short version; doesn't include Gerda Lerner refs; for ads & pb]

"An evocative and stirring collection of essays. Every scholar and activist concerned about public life and social change, feminist consciousness and empowerment, civil rights, human rights, and dignity for all people, will want to read and ponder this book."--Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt