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Social Justice Feminists in the United States and Germany: A Dialogue in Documents, 1880-1933

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Women reformers in the United States and Germany maintained a brisk dialogue between 1885 and 1933. Drawing on one another's expertise, they sought to alleviate a wide array of social injustices generated by industrial capitalism, such as child labor and the exploitation of women in the workplace. This book presents and interprets documents from that exchange, most previously unknown to historians, which show how these interactions reflected the political cultures of the two nations. On both sides of the ...
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Overview

Women reformers in the United States and Germany maintained a brisk dialogue between 1885 and 1933. Drawing on one another's expertise, they sought to alleviate a wide array of social injustices generated by industrial capitalism, such as child labor and the exploitation of women in the workplace. This book presents and interprets documents from that exchange, most previously unknown to historians, which show how these interactions reflected the political cultures of the two nations. On both sides of the Atlantic, women reformers pursued social justice strategies. The documents discussed here reveal the influence of German factory legislation on debates in the United States, point out the differing contexts of the suffrage movement, compare pacifist and antipacifist reactions of women to World War I, and trace shifts in the feminist movements of both countries after the war. Social Justice Feminists in the United States and Germany provides insight into the efforts of American and German women over half a century of profound social change. Through their dialogue, these women explicate their larger political cultures and the place they occupied in them.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Well-framed and carefully researched. . . Social Justice Feminists affords college readers the opportunity to hear the voices of women as world citizens and agents of social change, individuals for whom the democratic ideal remained a struggle rather than an assurance."—Transformations

"This collection presents and analyzes documents of the transnational dialogue between German and American women social justice reformers between 1885 and 1933. Speeches, correspondence, publications, and reports of women's conferences make up the wide array of documents that illustrate an intense and transatlantic exchange of ideas and friendships. As the editors write in the informative and in-depth introduction, this book contributes to comparative historical inquiry. . . "—Jennifer Anne Davy, Journal of Women's History, Spring 2000.

"This selection . . . contains sufficient documentation of the difficulties and problems feminists went through to make the volume a useful contribution to the comparative history of women's activism and social welfare in Germany and the USA as well as to the ongoing internalization of feminist history."—Richard J. Evans, University of Cambridge. German History. July, 2000.

"Fascinating and informative. Sheds new light on U.S. and German women's work for world peace before World War II."—Gerda Lerner

"Social Justice Feminists lovingly brings to life a world of shared politics, commitments, and friendships among German and American women struggling for social reform, women's rights, and peace. Through well-chosen private correspondence, published letters, speeches, and reports, Sklar, Schüler, and Strasser introduce us to the women who forged an important transatlantic connection spanning more than four tumultuous decades. The documents—and the editors—beautifully crafted introduction—tell the story of differences and similarities across national borders, an international passion for social justice, and hopes raised and dashed."—Leila J. Rupp, Ohio State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801484698
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Editorial Note
Introduction: A Transatlantic Dialogue 1
Pt. I Promoting a Dialogue: American Women Forge Ties with German Activism, 1885-1908
1 Florence Kelley Tells American Suffragists to Attend to Working Women 79
2 Kelley Urges American Suffragists to Adopt a Program 81
3 Kelley Describes the German Workingwomen's Movement to American Suffragists 85
4 Kelley Explains Illinois Factory Laws to German Social Democrats 90
5 Kelley Reports on Women Factory Inspectors to a German Audience 95
6 Kelley Analyzes American Sweatshops for a German Audience 104
7 Mary Church Terrell Speaks in Berlin 114
8 Jane Addams Praises German Labor Legislation 119
Pt. II German Reformers Consider the American Example, 1891-1914
1 An Early Report on the New York Consumers' League 127
2 Minna Cauer Describes the American Women's Movement 130
3 Kathe Schirmacher Reports on the International Women's Congress at the Columbian Exposition 140
4 Die Frau Reviews Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Eighty Years and More 147
5 A German Sociologist Describes American Women Factory Inspectors 155
6 Alice Salomon on American Settlement Work 159
7 A German Translation of Twenty Years at Hull House 168
8 A German Activist Responds to Twenty Years 175
Pt. III The Dialogue Changes during World War I
1 A Sympathetic Journalist Describes German Women's War Efforts 183
2 German Radical Women Organize for Peace 189
3 A Mainstream German Woman Activist Opposes Pacifism 196
4 An American Report on the Hague Congress 202
5 Resolutions Adopted at the Hague Congress 213
6 Alice Hamilton and Jane Addams Tour Europe at War 218
7 German Women Appeal to Jane Addams and Edith Wilson 227
8 An American Report on the Zurich Congress 229
9 Florence Kelley Describes the Zurich Congress 239
Pt. IV The Limitations of Nationhood in the 1920s
1 Addams and Hamilton Tour a Ravaged Germany 245
2 A German Nun Writes to Jane Addams 255
3 A German Activist Appeals to Addams for Help 260
4 The Weimar President Praises Jane Addams 266
5 Florence Kelley on the 1921 Vienna Congress 267
6 Racist German Propaganda Addressed to American Women 275
7 Mary Church Terrell Protests to Jane Addams 279
8 The WILPF Vienna Congress Resolution on Colonial Troops 282
9 Red Scare Tactics Used on German Activist Visiting the United States 287
10 Jane Addams Plans for German Visitors 292
11 Pages from a Keepsake 294
12 Alice Salomon on the Modern American Woman 300
13 A Young German Reformer on American Welfare Laws 306
14 A German Politician Writes for American Reformers 313
15 Alice Salomon Salutes Jane Addams 316
Epilogue: The Dialogue Destroyed 319
Glossary of German Organizations 335
Biographical Notes 340
Selected Bibliography 354
Index 369
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