The Feminist Promise: 1792 to the Present (Modern Library Chronicles)


Christine Stansell - 2010
    Stansell's comprehensive history tracks major and minor moments that highlight promise both realized and unmet. Beginning with the release of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and concluding with the connection of modern American feminism to global human rights, Stansell constructs a sweeping narrative that puts the accomplishments of specific players, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and the oft-overlooked Maria Stewart, into a larger historical context, and also chronicles leaders, organizations, and acts of protest that defined feminism in the 20th century. She examines the partnership between abolition and suffrage that led to respective political victories and indentifies the missteps (like an early partnership with white supremacists) that compromised progress, creating a truly balanced history for future generations. The volume's breadth means some details and individuals are lost, but in plotting the points of a long overdue narrative, Stansell fulfills her promise.

From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America


Vicki L. Ruiz - 1998
    Whether living in a labor camp, a boxcar settlement, or an urban barrio, Mexican women nurtured families, worked for wages, built extended networks, and participated in community associations--efforts that solidified the community and helped Mexican Americans find their own place in America. Now, in From Out of the Shadows, historian Vicki L. Ruiz provides the first full study of Mexican-American women in the 20th century, in a narrative enhanced by interviews and personal stories that capture a vivid sense of the Mexicana experience in the United States. Beginning with the first wave of women crossing the border early this century, Ruiz reveals the struggles they have faced, the communities they have built, and also highlights the various forms of political protest they have initiated. What emerges from the book is a portrait of a distinctive culture in America that has slowly gathered strength in the last 95 years. From Out of the Shadows is an important addition to the largely undocumented history of Mexican-American women in our century.

Talking to Women


Nell Dunn - 1965
    Somebody once pointed out that the emancipation of women would have taken place after they got the vote, but for women's magazines: women today expect more from life than childbearing and housekeeping, though on the other hand they cannot fulfill themselves entirely by writing novels, painting pictures or pursuing careers as men do.Many women find it difficult to meet the dual roles adequately and it is on this topic, and others, such as sexual fulfillment in and outside marriage, morality, and more or less intimate subjects, that the nine women included in this book talk to Nell Dunn. Some, like Edna O'Brien and Ann Quin, are writers, others are painters or actresses. One is a working mother, and another, Frances Chadwicke, is dead. The book is not a heavy sociological treatise; these women talk the language of the sixties and their speech rhythms are faithfully recorded. In conveying the looseness, the paucity almost, of the spoken word today, the contributors reveal contemporary life more fully because they are speaking in the intimate, informal manner that Nell Dunn has encouraged.(from jacket flap)

Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement & the New Left


Sara M. Evans - 1979
    On the basis of years of research, interviews with dozens of the central figures, and her own personal experience, Evans explores how the political stance of these women was catalyzed and shaped by their sharp disillusionment at a time when their skills as political activists were newly and highly developed, enabling them to join forces to support their own cause.

The Grounding of Modern Feminism


Nancy F. Cott - 1987
    Cott, author of The Bonds of Womanhood, offers a new interpretation of American feminism during the early decades of this century—a period traditionally viewed as on in which women won the right to vote and then lost interest in feminist issues. Cott argues instead that his period was a time of crisis and transition from the nineteenth-century "woman movement’ to the beginning of modern feminism. Many of the issues that are central to women today, says Cott, were firmly articulated in the early decades of this century. For example, the problem of defining sexual equality so as to recognize sexual difference between men and women, the ambiguous potential of a movement seeking individual freedoms for women by mobilizing sex solidarity, and the tensions involved in attaining full expression in work and love are all enduring elements of feminism seized upon by women of the 1910s and 1920s. First discussing how feminism was indebted to its predecessors, Cott shows that increasing heterogeneity and diverse loyalties among women in the early twentieth century contradicted the premise of the nineteenth-century "cause of woman" (the singular noun symbolizing the unity of the female sex). From this crisis emerged feminism, championing individual variability and refuting the premise that a singular "woman" existed.Cott focuses on the suffrage-campaign milieu in which feminism arose, giving particular attention to the character and role of the National Woman’s Party from its militant suffrage days to its advocacy of the equal right amendment in the 1920s. Against prevailing interpretations of the decline of women’s political activities after 1920, Cott counterposes the swelling numbers in women’s voluntary associations and their political efforts. She also analyzes the pitfalls that awaited women who tried for effectiveness in the male-dominated political parties. She sets the controversy over the equal rights amendment in new context, discussing the full dimensions of the conflict as not merely over personalities, tactics, or class loyalties, but as a signal example of the modern problem of capturing sexual equality and sexual difference in law.The book explores the irony-strewn path of women who as aspiring professionals and political actors attempted to put into practice the feminist intent to replace the abstraction "woman" with, instead, "the human sex." This history—the story of women who first claimed the name feminists—builds an essential bridge between the presuffrage period and today.

To Kill the Irishman: The War That Crippled the Mafia


Rick Porrello - 1998
    The end result is the fall of several Mafia families and the defection of high-ranking mobsters. Author Rick Porrello is a veteran cop who wrote about his mob roots in "The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia". To Kill the Irishman has been optioned for a major motion picture.

Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars


Kristin L. Hoganson - 1998
    Kristin L. Hoganson shows how gendered ideas about citizenship and political leadership influenced jingoist political leaders` desire to wage these conflicts, and she traces how they manipulated ideas about gender to embroil the nation in war. She argues that racial beliefs were only part of the cultural framework that undergirded U.S. martial policies at the turn of the century. Gender beliefs, also affected the rise and fall of the nation`s imperialist impulse.  Drawing on an extensive range of sources, including congressional debates, campaign speeches, political tracts, newspapers, magazines, political cartoons, and the papers of politicians, soldiers, suffragists, and other political activists, Hoganson discusses how concerns about manhood affected debates over war and empire. She demonstrates that jingoist political leaders, distressed by the passing of the Civil War generation and by women`s incursions into electoral politics, embraced war as an opportunity to promote a political vision in which soldiers were venerated as model citizens and women remained on the fringes of political life. These gender concerns not only played an important role in the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars, they have echoes in later time periods, says the author, and recognizing their significance has powerful ramifications for the way we view international relations.Yale Historical Publications

Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement


Sarah Erdreich - 2013
    At the start of his second term, it is time for Barack Obama, forty years after Roe v. Wade, to finally help lead us to demystify abortion. One-third of all American women will have an abortion by the time they are 45, and most of those women are already mothers. Yet, the topic remains taboo. In this provocative book on the heels of the Planned Parenthood controversy, Sarah Erdreich presents the antidote to the usual abortion debates.Inextricably connected to issues of autonomy, privacy, and sexuality, the abortion debate remains home base for the culture wars in America. Yet, there is more common ground than meets the eye in favor of choice. Generation Roe delves into phenomena such as "abortion-recovery counseling," "crisis pregnancy centers," and the infamous anti-choice "black children are an endangered species" billboards. It tells the stories of those who risk their lives to pursue careers in this stigmatized field. And it outlines the outrageous legislative battles that are being waged against abortion rights all over the country. With an inspiring spirit and a forward-looking approach, Erdreich holds abortion up, unabashedly, as a moral and fundamental human right.

Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present


Lisa Grunwald - 2005
    In 1775, Rachel Revere tries to send financial aid to her husband, Paul, in a note that is confiscated by the British; First Lady Dolley Madison tells her sister about rescuing George Washington’s portrait during the War of 1812; one week after JFK’s assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy pens a heartfelt letter to Nikita Khrushchev; and on September 12, 2001, a schoolgirl writes a note of thanks to a New York City firefighter, asking him, “Were you afraid?”The letters gathered here also offer fresh insight into the personal milestones in women’s lives. Here is a mid-nineteenth-century missionary describing a mastectomy performed without anesthesia; Marilyn Monroe asking her doctor to spare her ovaries in a handwritten note she taped to her stomach before appendix surgery; an eighteen-year-old telling her mother about her decision to have an abortion the year after Roe v. Wade; and a woman writing to her parents and in-laws about adopting a Chinese baby.With more than 400 letters and over 100 stunning photographs, Women’s Letters is a work of astonishing breadth and scope, and a remarkable testament to the women who lived–and made–history.

The First Fall Classic: The Red Sox, the Giants and the Cast of Players, Pugs and Politicos Who Re-Invented the World Series in 1912


Mike Vaccaro - 2009
    In October of 1912, seven years before gambling nearly destroyed the sport, the world of baseball got lucky. It would get two teams-the Boston Red Sox and the New York Giants, winners of a combined 208 games during the regular season-who may well have been the two finest ball clubs ever assembled to that point. Most importantly, during the course of eight games spanning nine days in that marvelous baseball autumn, they would elevate the World Series from a regional October novelty to a national obsession. The games would fight for space on the front pages of the nation's newspapers, battling both an assassin's bullet and the most sensational trial of the young century, with the Series often carrying the day and earning the "wood." In "The First Fall Classic," veteran sports journalist and author Mike Vaccaro brings to life a bygone era in cinematic and intimate detail-and gives fans a wonderful page-turner that re-creates the magic and suspense of the world's first "great" series.

Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835


Theda Perdue - 1998
    While building on the research of earlier historians, she develops a uniquely complex view of the effects of contact on Native gender relations, arguing that Cherokee conceptions of gender persisted long after contact. Maintaining traditional gender roles actually allowed Cherokee women and men to adapt to new circumstances and adopt new industries and practices.

Fire at Eden's Gate: Tom McCall and the Oregon Story


Brent Walth - 1994
    An impetuous, flamboyant, imposing, and outrageous showman, Oregon Governor Tom McCall fascinated America as a refreshingly candid and forthright politician.

Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth


Kristen Iversen - 1999
    Through magazines, books, a Broadway musical, and a Hollywood movie, she became "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," but in the process her life story was distorted beyond recognition. Even her name was changed--she was never known as Molly during her lifetime. Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth is the first full-length biography of this American icon, and the story it tells is of a passionate and outspoken crusader for the rights of women, children, mine workers, and others struggling for their voice in the early twentieth century.

Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World


Eileen McNamara - 2018
    Now, in Eunice, Pulitzer Prize winner Eileen McNamara finally brings Eunice Kennedy Shriver out from her brothers’ shadow to show an officious, cigar-smoking, indefatigable woman of unladylike determination and deep compassion born of rage: at the medical establishment that had no answers for her sister Rosemary; at the revered but dismissive father whose vision for his family did not extend beyond his sons; and at the government that failed to deliver on America’s promise of equality. Granted access to never-before-seen private papers—from the scrapbooks Eunice kept as a schoolgirl in prewar London to her thoughts on motherhood and feminism—McNamara paints a vivid portrait of a woman both ahead of her time and out of step with it: the visionary founder of the Special Olympics, a devout Catholic in a secular age, and a formidable woman whose impact on American society was longer lasting than that of any of the Kennedy men.

A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance


Stella Dadzie - 2020
    Yet from their dusty footprints and the umpteen small clues they left for us to unravel, there’s no question that they earned their place in history. Pick any Caribbean island and you’ll find race, skin colour and rank interacting with gender in a unique and often volatile way. Moreover, the evidence points to a distinctly female role in the development of a culture of slave resistance—a role that was not just central, but downright dynamic.From the coffle-line to the Great House, enslaved women found ways of fighting back that beggar belief. Whether responding to the horrendous conditions of plantation life, the sadistic vagaries of their captors or the “peculiar burdens of their sex,” their collective sanity relied on a highly subversive adaptation of the values and cultures they smuggled with them naked from different parts of Africa. By sustaining or adapting remembered cultural practices, they ensured that the lives of chattel slaves retained both meaning and purpose. This sense of self gave rise to a sense of agency and over time, both their subtle acts of insubordination and their conscious acts of rebellion came to undermine the very fabric and survival of West Indian slavery.