The Columbia Documentary History Of American Women Since 1941

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 29%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.70
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 84%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $5.70   
  • New (4) from $9.50   
  • Used (6) from $5.70   


This far-ranging collection of public and private sources illuminates a revolutionary half century for American women. The last six decades have been a pivotal period of change and resistance, progress and backlash for American women. From the Hoover vacuum cleaner to the fax machine, the pill to reproductive rights, from Rosie the Riveter to Martha Stewart and Hillary Rodham Clinton American women have grappled with a sometimes dizzying rate of social and economic change and continually shifting conceptions of gender.

This collection of documents seeks to chronicle the exciting and tumultuous recent history of American women, beginning with World War II, and the lasting reverberations of the greater employment opportunities for women created by the war effort. Subsequent documents speak to a series of timely topics: the ideas and changes brought about by the women's movement, the challenges to and defense of reproductive rights, the backlash against feminism in the name of family values, and new visions for women's lives in the twenty-first century.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews


A very current compendium that embraces the diversity of women's experience, this volume is accessible to a variety of audiences, but is particularly well suited to academics... Highly recommended.


A very current compendium that embraces the diversity of women's experience, this volume is accessible to a variety of audiences, but is particularly well suited to academics... Highly recommended.

Feminist Collections

This work has many uses as part of an academic or public library or as a resource to be perused by high school or college students.

Library Journal
This enormously valuable volume will provide documentary source materials for students from junior high school through college who are searching for voices of and about American women throughout the second half of the 20th century. The excerpts highlight four themes: changing conceptions of gender, the introduction by women of formerly "private" matters into the policy-making arena, the power of coalition among women of different backgrounds, and the continuing influence of gender on women's ability to make choices about work and family. Brief chapter introductions and headnotes by the editor, who holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Massachusetts, place each selection in historical context. The documents represent a wide array of sources and viewpoints, e.g., Supreme Court decisions, letters to Ms. magazine, and declarations of religious figures. Individual speakers include Betty Friedan, Anita Hill, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Jerry Falwell, Dan Quayle, and many others whose names are much less familiar. Women of every race, diverse economic circumstances, and educational attainment appear. While one might wish that some of the excerpts were longer, this volume might also serve as a text in the college classroom. In any case, most public and academic libraries will want this book on their shelves.-Cynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, DC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231116992
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 710
  • Product dimensions: 1.56 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet Sigerman is an independent scholar. In addition to writing three volumes in the young adult series Young Oxford History of Women in the United States , she is the author of Land of Many Hands: Women in the American West and the award-winning Elizabeth Cady Stanton: "The Right Is Ours" .

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction1. Warriors on the Homefront: American Women and World War II"We Want to Live, Not Merely Exist'', by A Black Woman's Letter to FDR"I Got Caught Up in That Patriotic 'Win the War' '', by Juanita Loveless"A Guidebook for Women War Workers'': Wanted, Women in War Industry, by Laura Nelson Baker"Hitler Was the One That Got Us Out of the White Folks' Kitchen'', by Fanny Christina Hill"The Changes Started When I First Started Working'', by Beatrice Morales Clifton"I Felt Degraded, Humiliated, and Overwhelmed'', by Yoshiko Uchida"Saying 'No' Was the Only Way You Could Become a Wave'', by Mary Meigs"I Believe the War Was the Beginning of My Seeing Things'', by Peggy Terry"There Was Prejudice Against Conscientious Objectors'', by Wilma and William Ludlow"Please Come Back to Me Soon'', by Letters from the Home Front"The Girls Proved to Be Simply Remarkable'', by Jacqueline Cochran"Women Are Idealistic'', by Eleanor Roosevelt"I Learned Things I Didn't Even Know Happened in the World'', by Susan Laughlin"The War Marked Me'', by Betty Basye Hutchinson2. The Unquiet Decade: Domesticity, Work, and Social Activism in Postwar AmericaModern Woman: The Lost Sex, by Marynia Farnham and Ferdinand Lundberg"To Rescue Us Wretched Slaves'', by Adlai Stevenson"I Knew I Wasn't Going to Make It... to the 'Colored Ladies' Toilet'', by Melba Pattilo Beals"Things Cannot Go On as They Are in Dixie'', by Lillian Smith"I Speak as a Woman'', by Margaret Chase Smith"I Didn't Think I Should Have to Give It Up'', by Rosa Parks"It Was the Longest Block I Ever Walked in My Whole Life'', by Elizabeth EckfordWant Ads, by Atlanta Journal-Constitution"We Saw Women as a Vehicle for a New Peace Action'', by Dagmar Wilson"The Union Wasn't for Us Blacks'', by Florence Rice"A Grim Specter Has Crept Upon Us'', by Rachel Carson"Is This America?'', by Fannie Lou Hamer"Having a Baby Inside Me Is the Only Time I'm Really Alive'', by Anonymous"Before I Knew It, I Was Caught Up'', by Adrienne Mann"I Was There to Help Them'', by Nannie Washburn and Mary Dora Jones"The Newest Glamour Girl of Our Times'', by Helen Gurley Brown3. Making the World Anew: Different Paths to Sexual Equality"I Felt the World Was Passing Me By'', by Herma L. Snider"The Problem That Has No Name'', by Betty FriedanCivil Rights Act: Title VII, 1964"The Time Has Come for a New Movement Toward True Equality'', by National Organization of Women (NOW)"1968, a Year of Exhilaration'', by Dana Densmore"Women Are an Oppressed Class'', by Redstockings Manifesto"Your Time Is Now, My Sisters'', by Shirley Chisholm"What Is Liberation?'', by Editorial in Women: A Journal of Liberation"I Gave Every Ounce of Time and Energy... to Let People Know How Ghastly the War Was'', by Lucy Whitaker Haessler"New Approaches to the Study of Women in American History'', by Gerda Lerner &'grave;Talking Want Ad'': From a Women's Song BookJanet Smith"Consciousness: That's Exactly Why We're Here'', by Vivian Gornick"The Male God Language Is Just So Overwhelming to Me'', by Terri Berthiaume Hawthorne"I Want the Right to Be Black and Me'', by Margaret Wright"I Am Angry for My Sisters'', by A Letter to Ms. Magazine"A New Revolution Within a Revolution Has Begun'', by Jennie V. Chavez"The Woman Is the Victim'', by Sarah WeddingtonRoe v. Wade, 1973, by The United States Supreme CourtOur Bodies, Ourselves, by Boston Women's Health Book Collective"What It's Like to Be Me'', by A Round Table of Perspectives by Young Ms. Readers"You Can't Talk About Women's Rights Until We Include All Women'', by Dorothy Bolden"We Remember Our Sisters'': A Jewish Women's Haggadah, by Aviva Cantor Zuckoff"Recognizing Ourselves in History'', by Michelle Russell"We Are Here to Move History Forward'', by Declaration of American Women, 1977"Black Women Are Inherently Valuable'', by Combahee River Collective"The Positive Woman Knows Who She Is'', by Phyllis Schlafly"Dear Mary Catherine'', by A Collection of Letters by Rural Kentucky Women4. Retrenchment: Gains and Losses During the Reagan/Bush Era"We Support Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Women'', by 1980 Republican Party Platform"You Just Want to Do a Little Better'', by Wendy Robinson Brower"Good Husbands Are Good Leaders'', by Jerry Falwell"Homemakers Need the Equal Rights Amendment'', by Homemakers' Equal Rights Association"We Are Gathering Because Life on the Precipice Is Intolerable'', by Women's Pentagon Action"Liberation... Isn't Finished'', by Betty Friedan"The Best-Kept Secret About Men'', by Ellen Kreidman"An Ethic of Care'', by Carol Gilligan"An Inequality of Sacrifice'', by Coalition on Women and the Budget"I Proudly Accept Your Nomination'', by Geraldine Ferraro"It Created a Myth Among Women'', by Smart Women, Foolish Choices"It's a Gentle Life, Sometimes'', by Frances Wells Burck, ed."Something Moved--Some Possibility of Trust Was Created'', by Rachel Bagby"This Motherhood Business'', by Nina Barrett"The Woman's 'Part' '', by Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter on Women"The Huge, Hidden Emotional Cost to Women'', by Arlie Hochschild"The High-Performing Career-and-Family Woman Can Be a Major Player'', by Felice Schwartz"Our Holding Will Allow Some Governmental Regulation of Abortion'', by United States Supreme Court"How Long Can This Go On?'', by Catherine Whitney"I Want the Chance to Excel'', by Patricia Godley"Cherish Your Human Connections'', by Barbara Bush"Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus'', by John Gray"I Am Not Given to Fantasy'', by Anita Hill"You Have Made Us Ladies Again'', by Sarah J. McCarthy"The Educational System Is Not Meeting Girls' Needs'', by How Schools Shortchange Girls"The Myth of the Miserable Working Woman'', by Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl River"Rape in America Is a Tragedy of Youth'', by Rape in America: A Report to the Nation"A Woman's Right to Reproductive Choice Is One of Those Fundamental Liberties'', by Justice Harry Blackmun, Planned Parenthood v. Casey"Just Another Lifestyle Choice'', by Vice President Dan Quayle"Few Generalizations to Be Made About Single Mothers'', by Roberto Suro5. The Third Wave: Feminism and Family Values in the 1990s"It Was Payback Time'', by Eloise Salholz et al."The Military Services Shall Open Up More Specialties and Assignments to Women'', by Defense Department Directive, 1993The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993"We Won't Stop Fighting'', by Naomi Wolf"Domestic Violence Is a Staggering Social Problem'', by Family Violence Prevention Fund"We're Coming Home, America'', by Torie Osborn"This Extraordinary Chance and Challenge'', by Ruth Bader Ginsburg"I'm Not Giving Up'', by David Anthony Forrester"Women's Rights Are Human Rights'', by Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 1995"You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do'', by Virginia Schein, ed."I Have Long Opposed Government Recognition of Same-Gender Marriages'', by President Bill Clinton"To End Welfare As We Know It'', by Welfare Reform Legislation"Our Society's Ugly Secret'', by Virginia Macken Fitzsimmons"All Mommies Are Monsters'', by Erica Jong"A Wife Is to Submit Herself to Her Husband'', by Baptist Faith and Message"It Was Now or Never'', by Doris Haddock"The Modern Diva of Domesticity'', by Molly O'Neill"Our Biology Hasn't Changed One Bit'', by Claudia Kalb et al.Approval of the Abortion Pill, by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Directive"I Will Work My Heart Out for You'', by Hillary Rodham Clinton6. Shaping a New Millennium: Old Problems and New Visions"To Be Known on Our Own Terms'', by Kate Shanley"No One Teaches Women How to Know Pleasure'', by Amy Larocca"I Am Still Single'', by Lynne Hektor"Best Practices'', by Catalyst"To Raise a Successful Daughter'', by Nicky Marone"It's Extremely Disheartening to See How Far We Have Not Come'', by Reed Abelson"When Women Speak Their Minds, They're Seen as Harsh'', by Neela Banerjee"Out of Our Sheer Humanity Comes Common Ground'', by Elizabeth Birch"I Feel I'm Neither Here Nor There'', by Diane K. Shah"Raising Kids Is Like Competing in a Triathlon'', by Barbara Kantrowitz"The Fruit of a Patriarchal System'', by Barbara Newman"We Must Find Community Out of Differences'', by Gerda Lerner"We Will Keep Moving Forward'', by National Organization of Women (NOW)"The Future Is Ours to Lose'', by Naomi Wolf"Breaking Tradition'', by Janice MirikitaniFurther Reading About Twentieth-Century American WomenIndex

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)