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From the Publisher"Kathleen McHugh's generous, big-hearted work on the construction and representation of domestic labor in American culture offers an original look at the intersection of class, race, and gender in domestic ideals. Combining study of nineteenth- and twentieth-century didactic studies of popular melodramatic films and recent avant-garde films by women, American Domesticity is much more than a book about cinema. For that very reason, however, it is a better book about cinema than most others. In fact, it is the best study of American melodrama I have read."—Linda Williams, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Hard Core.
"The strength of Kathleen McHugh's fine book lies in the connection she establishes between the classic texts of nineteenth-century domesticity and a number of twentieth-century films—important cultural manifestations that have rarely been discussed in the same work. American Domesticity is original, sophisticated, and provocative in its placement of women's work close to the heart of our national identity."—Glenna Mathews, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Just a Housewife (Oxford, 1989).