From Ballots to Breadlines: American Women 1920-1940

From Ballots to Breadlines: American Women 1920-1940

by Sarah Jane Deutsch
     
 

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The years between the two World Wars were decades of contrasts. The Roaring Twenties are remembered as years of prosperity and frivolity that were ended abruptly by the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Republican-dominated, pro-business politics of the 1920s gave way to the Democratic activism of the New Deal. But for women there was continuity to these years,

Overview


The years between the two World Wars were decades of contrasts. The Roaring Twenties are remembered as years of prosperity and frivolity that were ended abruptly by the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Republican-dominated, pro-business politics of the 1920s gave way to the Democratic activism of the New Deal. But for women there was continuity to these years, as their ability to effect change in political, cultural, and economic arenas of life began to gain strength.
Radio, movies, and mass advertising took the country by storm, and for the first time women were recognized as prime consumers. This "new woman" could legally vote on the same basis as men everywhere in the United States. She wore clothes that scandalized her grandparents but were far more comfortable than anything her mother ever wore. She was being elected to public office, was leading peace movements, and demanded better health care for women and children. And in the 1930s she found in Eleanor Roosevelt a role model who was recognized internationally as a leading influence in American policy. American women felt a freedom never imagined by earlier generations.
But some women did not share in this emancipation. Black women, Jewish women, Native American women--they found many of the newly opened doors slammed shut for them. They labored as clerical workers, domestic servants, farm or factory workers, not for self-fulfillment or liberation, but because their paychecks were needed to put food on the table. Even in the prosperous days of the flapper, some women faced a daily battle for survival.
From Ballots to Breadlines takes American women from the euphoria of the 1920s to the sober reality of the 1930s. As they began to vote and bring home wages, a woman's role began to change, and with it the traditional image of the American family.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This compelling series entry illuminates the social, economic, political, and artistic history of the '20s and '30s. Deutsch draws on a wealth of primary sources to portray the times and thoroughly explores a variety of historical experiences.... Readers are given a truly multicultural introduction to women's history in the U.S.... This book is sure to generate class discussion and add another dimension to students' understanding of American history."--School Library Journal

"Excellent, no-holds-barred... Well written and providing fascinating detail."--Booklist

"Another excellent entry in the 11-volume Young Oxford History of Women in the United States. Deutsch, associate professor of history at Clark University and a Rhodes scholar, puts her impeccable credentials to good use in a lively synthesis of the interacting social, political, and economic forces that reshaped women's roles between the world wars.... Cogent, well organized, and fascinating."--Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Leading historical scholars tell the story of America as women experienced it. The eleven volume "Young Oxford History of Women in the United States" series focuses on dramatic incidents and personal detail of women from a variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds at home, at work and in pursuit of their dreams. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions of art enhance this excellent series. Each book covers one historical period. Volume 8 addresses American women's experiences in the 1920-1940 time period.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195080636
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/28/1994
Series:
Young Oxford History of Women in the United States Series, #8
Edition description:
ILLUSTRATE
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
7.81(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.61(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah Jane Deutsch is associate professor of history at clark University, where she was awarded the Oliver and Dorothy Hayden Junior Faculty Fellowship for excellence in research and teaching. She is the author of No Separate Refuge: Culture, Class, and Gender on an Anglo-Hispanic Frontier in the American Southwest, 1880-1940, which won the Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities from the Council of Graduate Schools.

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