This anthology brings together carefully selected, quality articles in U.S. Women's History—organized around an interest in issues of gender and power in American society. Twenty individual essays provide readers with a unifying theme, and a greater understanding of history and continuing changes in gender relations. The chosen works discuss female institution building and American feminism, working-class women and sexuality, the professionalization of birth control, the sexual division of labor in the auto industry during World War II, the arrival of women in New York's Chinatown, the ERA, fair pay for working women, and much more. For individuals interested in the history of women in the United States.
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The Second Edition of Women and Power in American History includes fourteen new articles (six in volume one; eight in volume two) that reflect changing perspectives on women and gender in American history, providing expanded coverage of race, ethnicity, and public policy. A new Worldwide Web section in each volume lists annotated electronic resources relevant to the themes presented in Women and Power.New articles in volume two:
When we completed the first edition of Women and Power in American History: A Reader in 1991, we commented on the way the two volumes demonstrated the phenomenal growth of the field of U.S. women's history over the previous twenty years. A decade later the growing institutionalization of the field has become even more visible. Two major journals, the Journal of Women's History and Gender and History, are now both more than ten years old, as is a major dissertation prize, the Lerner-Scott Award. The number of graduate programs in U.S. Women's History has expanded as universities have responded to the growing demand for faculty in the field. While initially a department of history typically had a faculty member in U.S. Women's History and perhaps another in European Women's History, today it is increasingly common to find several faculty members in a department in each of these fields, as well as other colleagues with interests in wom6n or gender in Asia, Africa, or Latin America.
These developments have prompted us to gather a second edition. Our goal remains the same as in 1991: to bring together a coherent group of articles related to the unifying theme of power in women's lives over time. This focus helped us to consider new selections as we sorted through voluminous recent additions to scholarship in American Women's History. Fourteen of the 38 articles that we employ in this second edition are new to the reader, reflecting the changing perspectives that have emerged in the field as it has matured. In addition, we have thoroughly reworked the selected bibliography and have also added a new section to each volume, focusing on resource materials in U.S. Women's History on the World Wide Web. The emergence of the World Wide Web has been one of the most dramatic changes in the academic world in the past decade, and in history as well as in other disciplines, it offers rich new possibilities for research and teaching. We have both used the Web extensively in our teaching; collaboratively we have joined this revolution as codirectors of "Women and Social Movements in the United States," (womhist.binghamton), a major source of primary documents for teaching in U.S. Women's History.
U.S. Women's History emerged as a specialized field of historical study partly in response to the rebirth of the organized women's movement beginning in the 1960s. In that movement, women attacked gender inequalities in the broader society and struggled against barriers to women's full participation in American society. To us, as scholars and activists, it seems particularly appropriate to focus our readings in U.S. Women's History on questions of women and power in American History. A greater understanding of how power inequalities are organized along gender lines can help us work toward a more egalitarian and just society. Because the work of the women's movement is far from complete, our need for a fuller historical understanding of gender relations and women remains as great as ever. We trust this new reader will contribute to greater understanding and continuing change in women's and men's lives.
Our thanks to Professors Nancy Page Fernandez, California State University, Northridge, and Anya Jabour, University of Montana, for their thoughtful reviews of the first edition of this reader, and to Melissa Dbak of the State University of New York at Binghamton for consistent support as this project evolved.
Kathryn Kish Sklar
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