"Our women are serving actively in many ways in this war, and they are doing a grand job on both the fighting front and the home front." -- Eleanor Roosevelt, 1944 Our Mothers' War is a stunning and unprecedented portrait of women during World War II, a war that forever transformed the way women participate in American society. Never before has the vast range of American women's experience during this pivotal era been brought together in one book. Now, Our Mothers' War re-creates what American women from all walks of life were doing and thinking, on the home front and abroad. Like all great histories, Our Mothers' War began with an illuminating discovery. After finding a journal and letters her mother had written while serving with the Red Cross in the Pacific, journalist Emily Yellin started unearthing what her mother and other women of her mother's generation went through during a time when their country asked them to step into roles they had never been invited, or allowed, to fill before. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including personal interviews and previously unpublished letters and diaries, Yellin shows what went on in the hearts and minds of the real women behind the female images of World War II -- women working in war plants; mothers and wives sending their husbands and sons off to war and sometimes death; women joining the military for the first time in American history; nurses operating in battle zones in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific; and housewives coping with rationing. Yellin also delves into lesser-known stories, including: tales of female spies, pilots, movie stars, baseball players, politicians, prostitutes, journalists, and even fictional characters; firsthand accounts from the wives of the scientists who created the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, African-American women who faced Jim Crow segregation laws at home even as their men were fighting enemy bigotry and injustice abroad, and Japanese-American women locked up as prisoners in their own country. Yellin explains how Wonder Woman was created in 1941 to fight the Nazi menace and became the first female comic book superhero, as well as how Marilyn Monroe was discovered in 1944 while working with her mother-in-law packing parachutes at a war plant in Burbank, California. Our Mothers' War gives center stage to those who might be called "the other American soldiers."
We Are a College at War weaves together the individual World War II experiences of students and faculty at the all-female Rockford College (now Rockford University) in Rockford, Illinois, to draw a broader picture of the role American women and college students played during this defining period in U.S. history. It uses the Rockford community’s letters, speeches, newspaper stories, and personal recollections to demonstrate how American women during the Second World War claimed the right to be everywhere—in factories and other traditionally male workplaces, and even on the front lines—and links their efforts to the rise of feminism and the fight for women’s rights in the 1960s and 1970s.
From the first European encounters with Native American women to today's crisis of sexual assault, The Oxford Handbook of American Women's and Gender History boldly interprets the diverse history of women and how ideas about gender shaped their access to political and cultural power in North America. Over twenty-nine chapters, this handbook illustrates how women's and gender history can shape how we view the past, looking at how gender influenced people's lives as they participated in migration, colonialism, trade, warfare, artistic production, and community building. Theoretically cutting edge, each chapter is alive with colorful historical characters, from young Chicanas transforming urban culture, to free women of color forging abolitionist doctrines, Asian migrant women defending the legitimacy of their marriages, and transwomen fleeing incarceration. Together, their lives constitute the history of a continent. Leading scholars across multiple generations demonstrate the power of innovative research to excavate a history hidden in plain sight. Scrutinizing silences in the historical record, from the inattention to enslaved women's opinions to the suppression of Indian women's involvement in border diplomacy, the authors challenge the nature of historical evidence and remap what counts in our interpretation of the past. Together and separately, these essays offer readers a deep understanding of the variety and centrality of women's lives to all dimensions of the American past, even as they show that the boundaries of "women," "American," and "history" have shifted across the centuries.
American Women during World War II documents the lives and stories of women who contributed directly to the war effort via official and semi-official military organizations, as well as the millions of women who worked in civilian defense industries, ranging from aircraft maintenance to munitions manufacturing and much more. It also illuminates how the war changed the lives of women in more traditional home front roles. All women had to cope with rationing of basic household goods, and most women volunteered in war-related programs. Other entries discuss institutional change, as the war affected every aspect of life, including as schools, hospitals, and even religion. American Women during World War II provides a handy one-volume collection of information and images suitable for any public or professional library.
How midcentury periodicals that fostered an indelible middle-class ideal for American women also confronted the happy homemaker stereotype Read by millions of women each month, such mainstream periodicals as Ladies' Home Journal and McCall's delivered powerful messages about women's roles and behavior. In 1963 Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique accused the genre of helping to create what Friedan termed "the problem that has no name" -- that is, presenting women as stereotypical happy homemakers with limited interests and abilities. But this ideal of contented, domestic women was far from monolithic in the periodical literature of the time. Nancy A. Walker's analysis of a wide range of magazines, including Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Mademoiselle, Redbook, and others, reveals their depiction of a broader, fuller image of womanhood. As she notes a reflection of complex debates about the nature of domestic life in the 1940s and 1950s, she perceives editorial policies that mixed the banalities with urgent actualities. Rather than making isolated decisions about content, editors interacted with advertising agencies, with manufacturers of products, with experts in such fields as nutrition, medicine, technology, and childcare, and with the preferences and values of their readers. When World War II altered family patterns by taking millions into the armed services and drawing many women to jobs in defense plants, magazine articles both supported and attacked the new roles women took, while applauding women's home-front contributions to the war effort. After the war the magazines reflected Cold War anxieties while touting the rising consumer culture. Even as magazine ads promoted a white, suburban, middle-class ideal, such series as "How America Lives" in Ladies' Home Journal revealed a society that was economically and ethnically diverse. The pages of women's magazines of the 1940s and 1950s helped to shape and expand the domestic world our mothers inhabited. Examining the articles, fiction, advice columns, and advertisements that the magazines comprised during midcentury, Walker argues persuasively that the contradictory messages were a reflection of complex cultural values and institutions at a time when the domestic world became increasingly important as both a symbol of American democracy and the site of personal fulfillment. Nancy A. Walker, a professor of English at Vanderbilt University, is the author of "A Very Serious Thing": Women's Humor and American Culture and Feminist Alternatives: Irony and Fantasy in the Contemporary Novel by Women (University Press of Mississippi). She is the coeditor of Redressing the Balance: American Women's Literary Humor from Colonial Times to the 1980s (University Press of Mississippi).
وقعت آلاف الحروب، قصيرة ومديدة، عرفنا تفاصيل بعضها وغابت تفاصيل أخرى بين جثث الضحايا. كثيرون كتبوا، لكن دوماً كتب الرجال عن الرجال. كلُّ ما عرفناه عن الحرب، عرفناه من خلال "صوت الرجل". فنحن جميعاً أسرى تصوُّرات "الرجال" وأحاسيسهم عن الحرب، أسرى كلمات "الرجال". أمَّا النساء فلطالما لذن بالصمت. في الحرب العالمية الثانية شاركت تقريباً مليون امرأة سوفيتية في القتال على الجبهات كافة وبمختلف المهام. تثير سفيتلانا أسئلة مهمة عن دور النساء في الحرب، لماذا لم تدافع النساء، اللواتي دافعن عن أرضهن وشغلن مكانهنَّ في عالم الرجال الحصري، عن تاريخهن؟ أين كلماتهنَّ وأين مشاعرهنَّ؟ ثمَّة عالم كامل مخفيٌّ. لقد بقيت حربهنَّ مجهولة ...في كتابها " ليس للحرب وجه أنثوي" تقوم سفيتلانا بكتابة تاريخ هذه الحرب؛ حرب النساء
WASPs, WACs, WAVEs, Marines, Army and Navy nurses, cooks, clerks, OSS intelligence gatherers, and other service women--forty in all--offer intimate, first-hand accounts of their rigorous experiences overseas and the mistreatment they sometimes faced.