Common Sense and a Little Fire, Second Edition: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965

Common Sense and a Little Fire, Second Edition: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965

by Annelise Orleck

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Over twenty years after its initial publication, Annelise Orleck's Common Sense and a Little Fire continues to resonate with its harrowing story of activism, labor, and women's history. Orleck traces the personal and public lives of four immigrant women activists who left a lasting imprint on American politics. Though they have rarely made more than cameo appearances in previous histories, Rose Schneiderman, Fannia Cohn, Clara Lemlich Shavelson, and Pauline Newman played important roles in the emergence of organized labor, the New Deal welfare state, adult education, and the modern women's movement. Orleck takes her four subjects from turbulent, turn-of-the-century Eastern Europe to the radical ferment of New York's Lower East Side and the gaslit tenements where young workers studied together. Orleck paints a compelling picture of housewives' food and rent protests, of grim conditions in the garment shops, of factory-floor friendships that laid the basis for a mass uprising of young women garment workers, and of the impassioned rallies working women organized for suffrage.

Featuring a new preface by the author, this new edition reasserts itself as a pivotal text in twentieth-century labor history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469635910
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/02/2017
Series: Gender and American Culture
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Annelise Orleck is professor of history at Dartmouth College.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A major contribution to twentieth-century labor history. . . . Orleck's book is rich in detail and comprehensive in analysis.—Reviews in American History

A beautifully rendered collective biography of four activist immigrant women. This book is insightful, original, and dynamic. It makes an important contribution to the fields of labor history, immigrant history, and women's history. And it is a good read as well.—Alice Kessler-Harris, Rutgers University

Highly recommended. Two thumbs up. . . . Orleck's analyses revise the history of American women, labor, ethnicity, sexuality, and politics.—International Labor and Working Class History

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