Silicon Valley, Women, and the California Dream: Gender, Class, and Opportunity in the Twentieth Century / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.65
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 82%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $4.65   
  • New (6) from $18.91   
  • Used (6) from $4.65   


What accounts for the growing income inequalities in Silicon Valley, despite huge technological and economic strides? Why have the once-powerful labor unions declined in their influence? How are increasing waves of immigration and ethnic diversity changing the workplace in the Valley? Silicon Valley, Women, and the California Dream examines these questions from a fresh perspective: that provided by the history of women in Silicon Valley in the twentieth century.

Silicon Valley is internationally renowned. It is less well known, however, that the Valley once contained the world's largest concentration of fruit-processing plants, set in a sea of fruit orchards. Despite the many differences between the fruit and electronics industries, one important thread connects them: the production workers have been preponderantly immigrant women. (In the early part of the twentieth century, the newcomers came primarily from southern Europe; in the latter part of the century, they came mostly from Asia and Latin America, especially Mexico.) The author examines both industries, both work forces, and the changing nature of the local power structure. Although she documents the many sources of vitality and ferment that have undergirded the region's economic might, she also demonstrates that its wealth has not been equally distributed.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This highly original work is important for the way that it examines succeeding generations of women in a single location, and draws parallels and connections from one generation and type of work to another. In addition, it is an important source of information and analysis for both the geographic region it explores and for the industries it analyzes."
—Robert W. Cherny, San Francisco State University

"Matthews has added an indispensable contribution to the growing list of books about California's Silicon Valley. Her historical analysis of the area's development provides valuable context for understanding the valley's more recent social, economic, and demographic changes. And, by casting a focus on women in local society, Matthews has added a dimension mostly ignored by other authors. This is a must read for anyone interested in the origins and recent history of Silicon Valley."
—Al Camarillo, Stanford University

"For too many working women the promise of Silicon Valley has proven to be an illusion. Despite the rhetoric of the 'new' economy, gender-based wage discrimination and other 'old' inequities still persist. By exploding the myths surrounding the high-tech industry, Glenna Matthews sends a powerful message that while some women are lucky enough to be living their 'California Dream' the vast majority struggle just to earn a living."
—Amy B. Dean, Executive Officer, South Bay AFL-CIO

"There have been other books about Silicon Valley, but none with this multihistorical focus and concentration on the work of women."—History: Reviews of New Books

"It is thoroughly researched, well written, and compelling."—Western Historical Quarterly

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804747967
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/20/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Glenna Matthews is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Just a Housewife:The Rise and Fall of Domesticity in America (Oxford, 1987) and The Rise of Public Woman: Woman's Power and Woman's Place, 1630-1970 (Oxford, 1992). The author of five books in all and numerous articles, Matthews has also curated an exhibit on the history of San Francisco for the San Francisco Public Library, and served as the principal consultant for an award-winning documentary about the historian Angie Debo.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Maps
List of Photographs
Introduction 1
1 The Fruited Valley 13
2 The Fruit Industry Workforce at High Tide: A Wave of Militancy Hits the Valley 48
3 War and Cold War Shape the Valley: The Birth of a Metropolis and the Death of Union Democracy 81
4 Toward Silicon Valley 112
5 New Immigrants and Silicon Valley: Struggles, Successes, and Transformations 147
6 The Valley as "Feminist Capital of the Nation" 183
7 The Global Economy on the Home Front: A Tale of Two Valleys 226
Afterword 256
Notes 259
Index 299
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)