A Century of Women: The History of Women in Britain and the United States

Sheila Rowbotham

Published by Viking, 1997
ISBN 10: 0670874205 / ISBN 13: 9780670874200
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Synopsis: In "A Century of Women" one of our finest feminist historians meets the challenge that she sets for herself in her opening pages. In a compelling and readable narrative, Sheila Rowbotham charts the remarkable changes and interchanges in the lives of British and American women over the last 100 years, recording not only the effects of events but also the varied ways that women themselves have shaped this century and changed its course. From the nameless women who marched for the vote, stood on picket lines or refused to ride on segregated busses, to the politicians, poets and film stars whose faces fill our newspapers and television screens -- all are given their place and their stories told. Organized decaded by decade, each chapter is interleaved with entertaining essays on subjects such as popular fiction, prostitution, the Arts and Crafts movement, pin-ups, wartime songs, the motor car, lesbian culture, body and image, the kitchen and Barbie dolls. The book concludes with a useful reference section containing the biographiesof almost 400 women. Ranging from the broad political canvas of two world wars, the arrival of universal suffrage and huge global migrations, to the changing patterns of working women's lives, maternal welfare and the sexual revolution, "A Century of Women" provides a unique overview of the twentieth century.

Review: A Century of Women is an amiable though exhaustingly packed overview of women's lives from 1900 to the 1990s in England and America, two countries joined by a language but divergent in many other ways. Cross-pollination of fads and politics ferried across the Atlantic yielded similar, though hardly identical, fruit. The British suffragettes who plotted ways to get themselves jailed inspired their American sisters, who leaned more heavily on the lever of propaganda. Tactics used by women trying to unionize the U.S. garment trade owed a tip of the hat to English labor organizers who encouraged waves of strikes in the first decade of the century. In the 1960s, when ripples from the American women's liberation movement splashed down in parts of England, trade unionists fought for equal job opportunities and the London Women's Liberation Workshop labeled their newsletter "Harpies Bizarre." Sheila Rowbotham fills each page with so many quotes, people, and events that readers may grow frustrated at being hustled along too fast to enjoy a particular time.

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Title: A Century of Women: The History of Women in ...
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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