A Companion to American Women's History / Edition 1

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This collection of twenty-four original essays by leading scholars in American women's history highlights the most recent important scholarship on the key debates and future directions of this popular and contemporary field.

  • Covers the breadth of American Women's history, including the colonial family, marriage, health, sexuality, education, immigration, work, consumer culture, and feminism.
  • Surveys and evaluates the best scholarship on every important era and topic.
  • Includes expanded bibliography of titles to guide further research.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hewitt has collected introductory yet well rounded essays that provide a diversity of scholarly interpretations of American women's history. Each contributor thoroughly synopsizes germane works while incorporating issues such as race, class, and religion. Highly recommended as an introductory examination of American women's history." Choice

“It is impossible to overstate the value of Nancy Hewitt’s Companion to American Women’s History. It guides us, with tremendous authority, into the vast world of American women’s history, as it has developed and as it stands at the beginning of the 21st century. But it is also a powerful intervention. Cutting across conventional categories and divisions, it recasts the field, raising provocative new questions, suggesting new approaches, and opening fresh paths to the future. I can’t imagine teaching or writing women’s history in the future without this Companion by my side.” Jacquelyn Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“The original essays in this volume, based on broad-ranging historiography, will be useful and provocative to both the beginning student and the seasoned scholar.” Nancy F. Cott, Harvard University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Nancy A. Hewitt is Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Rutgers University. She is the author of Women's Activism and Social Change (1984) and Southern Discomfort: Women’s Activism in Tampa, Florida, 1880s-1920s (2001), Women's Activism and Social Change (2001), the editor of Women, Families, and Communities (1990), and co-editor of Visible Women: New Essays on American Activism (1993), and Talking Gender: Public Images, Personal Journeys, and Political Critiques (1996).

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Table of Contents


Part One: The Colonial Era, 1600-1760.

1 Imperial Gaze: Native American, African American, and Colonial Women in European Eyes: Kirsten Fischer (University of Minnesota).

2 Slavery and the Slave Trade: Jennifer L. Morgan (Rutgers University).

3 Contact and Conquest in the Americas: Gwenn A. Miller (Duke University).

4 Building Colonies, Defining Families: Ann M. Little (Colorado State University).

5 Sinners and Saints: Women and Religion in Colonial America: Susan Juster (University of Michigan).

Part Two: The Creation of a New Nation, 1760-1880.

6 A Revolution for Whom?: Jan E. Lewis (Rutgers University).

7 Gender and Class Formations in the Antebellum North: Catherine Kelly (University of Oklahoma).

8 Religion, Reform, and Radicalism: Nancy A. Hewitt (Rutgers University).

9 Conflicts and Cultures in the West: Lisbeth Haas (University of California at Santa Cruz).

10 Rural America: Marli Weiner (University of Maine, Orono).

11 The Civil War Era: Thavolia Glymph (Duke University).

12 Marriage, Property and the Ideals of Class: Amy Dru Stanley (University of Chicago).

13 Health, Science and Sexualities: Louise Michele Newman (University of Florida).

Part Three: Modern America, 1880-1990.

14 Education and the Professions, 1880-1990: Lynn Gordon (University of Rochester).

15 Wage-earning Women, 1900-1990: Annelise Orleck (Dartmouth College).

16 Consumer Cultures, 1880-1990: Susan Porter Benson (University of Connecticut).

17 Urban Spaces and Popular Cultures, 1890-1930: Nan Enstad (University of Wisconsin, Madison).

18 Women on the Move: Migration and Immigration: Ardis Cameron (University of Southern Maine).

19 Women's Movements, 1880s-1920s: Kirsten Delegard (Duke University).

20 Medicine, Law, and the State: Leslie J. Reagan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign).

21 The Great Depression and World War II: Karen Anderson (University of Arizona) 22 Rewriting Postwar Women’s History, 1945-1960: Joanne Meyerowitz (Yale University).

23 Civil Rights, and Black Liberation: Steven F. Lawson (Rutgers University, New Brunswick).

24 Second Wave Feminism: Rosalyn Baxandall (State University of New York at Old Westbury) and Linda Gordon (New York University).

Bibliography, Compiled by April DeStefano (ClaremontMcKennaCollege)

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