All-American Girl: The Ideal of Real Womanhood in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America

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9780820310633: All-American Girl: The Ideal of Real Womanhood in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America
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Argues that most nineteenth century American women were neither helpless victims nor radical political activists, and discusses education, marriage, and work

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About the Author:

Frances B. Cogan is a professor of literature in the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Captured: The Japanese Internment of American Civilians in the Philippines, 1941–1945 (Georgia).

Review:

How did nineteenth-century women become benevolent reformers, municipal housekeepers, and suffragists if they accepted the passive definition of true womanhood or fashion's demands of American beauty? Cogan argues that many women must have ignored or rejected those ideals for a different one: real womanhood. This ideal was marked by moral, mental, and physical fitness; good education; domestic, philanthropic, or paid employment; and a considered decision to marry or not. Cogan finds the evidence in best-selling advice books and novels available in the years between 1830 and 1880. . . . Altogether a stimulating answer to the question posed at the beginning of this review.

(Choice)

Cogan offers a new perspective on the historical interpretation of popular prescriptive Victorian literature that is certain to generate lively and earnest discussion among those interested in the history of nineteenth-century women in the United States.

(Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography)

All-American Girl raises some good points and reveals an important new angle to the whole issue of the status and self-image of the American women in the nineteenth century.

(Journal of American Studies)

An ambitious and contentious book . . . In the richness of detail provided, Cogan’s literal reading and use of a wide variety of sources are seductive. So, too, are the simplicity and common sense of her assertion that an alternative ideal of womanhood existed between the images of the submissive doormat and the protofeminist rebel.

(Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780820337944: All-American Girl: The Ideal of Real Womanhood in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America

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ISBN 10:  0820337943 ISBN 13:  9780820337944
Publisher: University of Georgia Press, 2010
Softcover

9780820310626: All-American Girl: The Ideal of Real Womanhood in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America

Univer..., 1989
Hardcover

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