Survival in the Doldrums: The American Women's Rights Movement, 1945 to the 1960s / Edition 1

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1st Edition, Fine/Fine- DJ priceclipped, o.w. cClean, tight & bright. No ink names, tears, chips, etc. ISBN 0195049381

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Overview


Survival in the Doldrums is the first book to explore the persistence of the American women's rights movement in a period generally considered devoid of feminist activism and to show the ways in which the more radical movement of the 1960s was influenced by the successes and failures of the 1950s activities.
Focusing on women who saw themselves as heirs of the suffrage movement and who were, in many cases, actual participants in that original campaign, the authors have conducted extensive interviews and searched through rare letters and memoirs to reclaim the lost history of this period of American feminism. Pioneers like Alice Paul, Florence Kitchelt, and Alma Lutz were not subverted or overwhelmed by the "feminine mystique" of the 1950s, Rupp and Taylor reveal. These activists maintained their commitment by building a supportive community of mostly white, middle- and upper-class, like-minded women.
The movement of the '50s focused on the Equal Rights Amendment with Alice Paul's National Woman's Party leading the fight for its adoption (the ERA had first been formulated by Paul in 1921). Although the movement did not succeed in passing the ERA, it did have some impact. The Amendment came to a vote in the Senate for the first time in the 1950s and the movement's agitation played an important role in the establishment of President Kennedy's Commission on the Status of Women, with Eleanor Roosevelt, Pauli Murray and others. Furthermore, activists worked for the inclusion of sex discrimination in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which remains one of the most significant feminist achievements to date.
But the social homogeneity of the movement robbed it of any chance of launching a broad-based challenge on behalf of women's rights. The group remained isolated, small and exclusive -- in the authors's words, "elite-sustained" -- remote from black, labor and socialist movements and often highly conservative. Rupp and Taylor conclude this fascinating history with the observation that it was, nevertheless, these women who maintained the movement until the equation of forces changed, making it possible for a later generation of women to resume a more overt and radical mass-based protest.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Provides an excellent overview of the women's rights movement and complimented the other texts on civil rights and the students movements. I enjoyed it and my class seems to, as well."--Timothy J. Hackett, SUNY Binghamton

"This pathbreaking book draws important theoretical conclusions about groups in continuance and decline. A significant contribution to both the history of the women's movement and the sociology of social movements."--Library Journal. "The research on which this book is based is absolutely dazzling. It changes the entire interpretation of the women's movement."--Joan Huber, editor of Changing Women in a Changing Society. "An impressive job....the authors' exposition of the role of the National Woman's Party in sustaining the feminist impulse is a major contribution. I know that this book will have an eager audience." "--Cynthia Harrison, author of the forthcoming On Account of Sex: The Politics of Women's Isssues, 1945 to 1968.

"The study lovingly documents the endurance, wisdom, and conflict among early feminists."--Choice

"This pathbreaking book draws important theoretical conclusions about groups in continuance and decline. A significant contribution to both the history of the women's movement and the sociology of social movements."--Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195049381
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/21/1987
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

About the authors:
Leila J. Rupp, Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University, is the author of Mobilizing Women for War: German and American Propaganda, 1939-1945 and co-editor of Nazi Ideology before 1933:A Documentation. Verta Taylor, Associate Professor of Sociology at Ohio State University, is co-editor of Feminist Frontiers: Rethinking Sex, Gender, and Society.

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