America's Working Women: A Documentary History, 1600 to the Present

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Rosalyn Fraad Baxandall, Linda Gordon, Susan Reverby
W. W. Norton & Company, 1995 - History - 356 pages
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A landmark work when it appeared in 1976, America's Working Women helped form the field of women's studies and transform labor history. Now the authors have enlarged the dimensions of this important anthology; more than half the selections and all the introductory material are new. Spanning the years from 1600 to the present, selections from diaries, popular magazines, historical works, oral histories, letters, songs, poetry, and fiction show women's creativity in supporting themselves, their families, and organizations or associations. Slave women recall their field work, family work, and sabotage. We see Indian women farming, and we also see the white culture coercing Indian women to give up farming. We see women in industry playing a central part in the union movement while facing the particular hazards of women's jobs and working conditions. New selections show the historical origins of today's important issues: sexual harassment, equal pay, "sex work,” work in the underground economy, work in the home, and shift work. With an expanded focus on women from all racial and ethnic backgrounds and regions, America's Working Women grounds us in the battles women have fought and the ones they are in the process of winning.
 

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Contents

I
3
BIRTH CONTROL I 88
12
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY
16
servants resistance
25
SLAVE WOMENS LABOR
42
washday in hispanic california
56
IMMIGRANT WOMEN
71
Controversy about Womens Work
74
A UNION HOME FOR WORKING WOMEN
183
WORKING WOMEN FOR SUFFRAGE
189
A GOLDDIGGER
203
Working Women Organize
216
PROTESTING NEW DEAL DISCRIMINATION
230
The War
248
Feminine Mystique and Feminine Reality
261
ANTIUNION VIOLENCE
276

CHANGING THE SEX OF JOBS
87
A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH
102
1 2
116
Migrants and Immigrants 13 0
130
A DOCTOR OF ALL TRADES
143
HOME WORK 1 56
156
THE SHIRTWAIST UPRISING
170
Continuing Patterns
289
DROP THE MOP BLESS THE MESS
302
PLANT CLOSINGS
304
YOUR CLERICAL WORKERS ARE RIPE
318
A WORKING WOMENS CENTER
333
5 1
351
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About the author (1995)

Rosalyn Fraad Baxandall was born in Manhattan, New York on June 12, 1939. She received a bachelor's degree in French from the University of Wisconsin in 1961 and a master's degree from the School of Social Work at Columbia University in 1963. She began working for the Mobilization for Youth and took part in the women's movement. She picketed the 1968 Miss America pageant in Atlantic City and had a prominent role in the abortion speakout in the West Village in 1969. In 1971, she began teaching in the American studies department at the State University of New York at Old Westbury. She later served as head of the department. After retiring from SUNY in 2012, she taught in the labor studies program of the City University of New York and at the Bayview Correctional Facility. She along with Linda Gordon and Susan Reverby assembled primary documents that offered a sweeping history of women and labor. Their book, America's Working Women: A Documentary History, 1600 to the Present, was published in 1976. Her other books include Technology, the Labor Process and the Working Class: A Collection of Essays, Words on Fire: The Life and Writing of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women's Liberation Movement, and Picture Windows: How the Suburbs Happened written with Elizabeth Ewen. She died from kidney cancer on October 13, 2015 at the age of 76.

Linda Gordon is the Florence Kelley Professor of History at New York University. She is the author of numerous books including Dorothea Lange and Impounded, and won the Bancroft Prize for The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction. She lives in New York.

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