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Breadwinners Working Women and Economic Independence, 1865-1920

by Lara Vapnek

Part of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality in American History Series

Breadwinners Working Women and Economic Independence, 1865-1920 Synopsis

&&LI&&Normal0falsefalsefalseMicrosoftInternetExplorer4/* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name: Table Normal ;mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-parent: ;mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family: Times New Roman ;mso-ansi-language:#0400;mso-fareast-language:#0400;mso-bidi-language:#0400;}This study of feminist labor reform examines how working women pursued equality by claiming new identities for themselves as citizens and as breadwinners. Lara Vapnek tells the story of American labor feminism from the end of the Civil War through the winning of woman suffrage rights, a period in which working women in the nation's industrializing cities launched a series of campaigns to gain economic equality and political power. Focusing particularly on disjunctions between middle-class and working-class women's notions of independence, Vapnek highlights the specific contributions of reformers such as Jennie Collins, Leonora O'Reilly, and Helen Campbell, and organizations such as the National Consumers' League, the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, and the Women's Trade Union League. Locating households as important sites of class conflict, Breadwinners recovers the class and gender politics behind the marginalization of domestic workers in debates over labor reform while documenting the ways in which working-class women raised their voices on their own behalf.

Breadwinners Working Women and Economic Independence, 1865-1920 Press Reviews

Illuminates the strong connections between labor rights and political rights and enhances our understanding of the promises and the perils of cross-class organizing. --Journal of American History A quite nuanced discussion of the impact of gender on the forging of class identities from the Gilded Age into the Progressive Era. . . . Highly Recommended --Choice Reads almost like a prequel to When Everything Changed, a history of American women since 1960 by Gail Collins. --The New York Times

Book Information

ISBN: 9780252076619
Publication date: 28th October 2009
Author: Lara Vapnek
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 232 pages
Categories: Feminism & feminist theory, Employment & unemployment,

About Lara Vapnek

Lara Vapnek is an assistant professor of history at St. John's University in Queens, New York.

More About Lara Vapnek

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