Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War

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Potomac Books, Inc., 2008 - History - 352 pages
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Imagine a more controversial Rosie the Riveter--a generation older and more outlandish for her time. She was the "farmerette" of the Woman's Land Army of America (WLA), doing a man's job on the home front during World War I.

From 1917 to 1920 the WLA sent more than twenty thousand urban women into rural America to take over farm work after the men went off to war and food shortages threatened the nation. These women, from all social and economic strata, lived together in communal camps and did what was considered "men's work": plowing fields, driving tractors, planting, harvesting, and hauling lumber. The Land Army was a civilian enterprise organized and financed by women. It insisted on fair labor practices and pay equal to male laborers' wages for its workers and taught women not only agricultural skills but also leadership and management techniques. Despite their initial skepticism, farmers became the WLA's loudest champions, and the farmerette was celebrated as an icon of American women's patriotism and pluck.

The WLA's short but spirited life foreshadowed some of the most significant social issues of the twentieth century: women's changing roles, the problem of class distinctions in a democracy, and the physiological and psychological differences between men and women.

The dramatic story of the WLA is vividly retold here using long-buried archival material, allowing a fascinating chapter of America's World War I experience to be rediscovered.
 
 

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Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War

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Weiss, who has written for such publications as the New York Times and Harper's, chronicles the largely forgotten history of the Woman's Land Army (WLA), a group of women in the United States who left ... Read full review

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
LIBERTY DAY
Part OneThe Girl With a Hoe Behind the Man With a Gun
A BRITISH LAND ARMY
2FEMALE PREPAREDNESS
3AN AGRICULTURAL ARMY
4SUFFRAGE AGRICULTURE
5SOIL SISTERS
CONNECTICUT
ILLINOIS
NEW ENGLAND
SELLING THE LAND ARMY IN NEW JERSEY
18GEORGIA COTTON
19HARSH TERRAIN
20MISS DIEHL AND THE WELLESLEY EXPERIMENT STATION
NEW YORK

THE BEDFORD CAMP
FALL 1917
8WOMEN ON THE LAND
9A HYSTERICAL APPEAL
THE FAIR FARMERETTE AND HER PUBLICITY MACHINE
11ENLIST NOW
Part TwoThe Patriot Farmerette
CALIFORNIA
13HORTENSE POWDERMAKER IN MARYLAND
22MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE
23A HUNGRY WORLD
24CARRY ON
1919 AND BEYOND
NOTES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Elaine F. Weiss is a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and on National Public Radio. She is a frequent correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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