Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right

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Princeton University Press, Apr 15, 2012 - History - 231 pages

Mothers of Conservatism tells the story of 1950s Southern Californian housewives who shaped the grassroots right in the two decades following World War II. Michelle Nickerson describes how red-hunting homemakers mobilized activist networks, institutions, and political consciousness in local education battles, and she introduces a generation of women who developed political styles and practices around their domestic routines. From the conservative movement's origins in the early fifties through the presidential election of 1964, Nickerson documents how women shaped conservatism from the bottom up, out of the fabric of their daily lives and into the agenda of the Republican Party.

A unique history of the American conservative movement, Mothers of Conservatism shows how housewives got out of the house and discovered their political capital.

 

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Contents

Conservative Women in the Early Twentieth Century
1
Grassroots Conservatism in Postwar Los Angeles
32
Conservative Female Activism in the Los Angeles Public Schools
69
Psychological Experts and the State
103
Women and the Building of a Movement
136
Conclusion
169
Appendix Conservative Bookstores Operating in Southern California in the 1960s
175
Notes
179
Index
217
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About the author (2012)

Michelle M. Nickerson is associate professor of history at Loyola University, Chicago. She is coeditor of Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Space, Place, and Region.