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Susan Esterbrook KennedyPeiss amply demonstrates that young working women at the turn of the century did not come easily to the notion of leisure nor to the sense that they might exercise some autonomy over their own leisure time and pursuits. . . . They encountered considerable parental and social resistance when they explored relatively new types of commercialized recreation—dance halls, amusement parks, movie theaters. The debate over respectability in relation to those new activities forms a particularly interesting part of the story.
The author is at her best in her 'case studies' of the evolving patterns of activity, socialization, and culture in those dance halls, amusement parks, and motion picture theaters.
—(The Journal of American History )