U.S. Women's History: Untangling the Threads of Sisterhood

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9780813575834: U.S. Women's History: Untangling the Threads of Sisterhood
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In the 1970s, feminist slogans proclaimed “Sisterhood is powerful,” and women’s historians searched through the historical archives to recover stories of solidarity and sisterhood. However, as feminist scholars have started taking a more intersectional approach—acknowledging that no woman is simply defined by her gender and that affiliations like race, class, and sexual identity are often equally powerful—women’s historians have begun to offer more varied and nuanced narratives.   The ten original essays in U.S. Women's History represent a cross-section of current research in the field. Including work from both emerging and established scholars, this collection employs innovative approaches to study both the causes that have united American women and the conflicts that have divided them. Some essays uncover little-known aspects of women’s history, while others offer a fresh take on familiar events and figures, from Rosa Parks to Take Back the Night marches. Spanning the antebellum era to the present day, these essays vividly convey the long histories and ongoing relevance of topics ranging from women’s immigration to incarceration, from acts of cross-dressing to the activism of feminist mothers. This volume thus not only untangles the threads of the sisterhood mythos, it weaves them into a multi-textured and multi-hued tapestry that reflects the breadth and diversity of U.S. women’s history. 

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About the Author:

LESLIE BROWN was a professor of history at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She is the author of Upbuilding Black Durham: Gender, Class, and Black Community Development in the Urban South, the editor of Voices of Freedom II: A Documentary History, from Emancipation to the Present, and (with Anne Valk) coeditor of Living with Jim Crow: African American Women and Memories of the Segregated South.  JACQUELINE CASTLEDINE teaches interdisciplinary studies in the University Without Walls at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she also directs program innovation for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. She is the coeditor of Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945–1985 and the author of Cold War Progressives: Women’s Interracial Organizing for Peace and Justice.  ANNE VALK is the associate director for public humanities at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  She is the author of Radical Sisters: Women’s Liberation and the Black Freedom Movement in Washington, D.C., 1968–1980 and the coeditor (with Leslie Brown) of Living with Jim Crow: African American Women and Memories of the Segregated South.  

Review:

“This indispensable volume collects the most current scholarship on gender and U.S. history.  The essays are a testament to the vibrancy of the field of women's history and illustrate the range of methodological and theoretical innovations that continue to drive the field."
  (Jennifer L. Morgan author of Laboring Women: Gender and Reproduction in New World Slavery)

“This is women’s history at its finest. With essays on diverse women, the anthology at once builds upon generations of scholarship as it pushes the field in exciting new directions.”
  (Michele Mitchell Professor of History, New York University)

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