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Inventing the American Woman: An Inclusive History, Volume 2: Since 1877, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-0-88295-251-2
525 pages
January 2007, ©2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Inventing the American Woman: An Inclusive History, Volume 2: Since 1877, 4th Edition (088295251X) cover image


When the first edition of this groundbreaking survey of U.S. women’s history first appeared in 1986, no one could have predicted its spectacular success and widespread support—or the vast proliferation of women’s history courses in the nation’s high schools, colleges, and universities.

Informed by the generous feedback of many of “Inventing"’s loyal users—student readers and instructors from every region of the nation—the fourth edition of Glenda Riley’s dynamic text remains the most inclusive, accessible, and affordable choice as a core text for the Women’s History course, as well as useful supplementary reading for courses in Women’s Studies and the U.S. survey.

Completely up to date, with expanded coverage of women in the military, sports, women’s healthcare, divorce, and women of color—especially Spanish-speaking, American Indian, African American, and Asian American women—this well-balanced, interpretive account portrays the myriad of women’s experiences as they shaped and were shaped by American history, and redounds as a remarkable feat of insight and inclusion. As always, each volume features a stunning photographic essay, a visual account from the colonial era to the present.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Gender Expectations Across Cultures ix

Chapter Six “Reordering Woman’s Sphere”: The Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 1878 to 1914 261

The Gilded Age, 1878 to 1890 262

Reform during the Progressive Era, 1890 to 1914 271

Employed Women during the Progressive Era, 1890 to 1914 288

The New South during the Progressive Era, 1890 to 1914 297

The New West during the Progressive Era, 1890 to 1914 299

Study Guide 308

Suggestions for Further Reading 309

Chapter Seven The “New Woman”: World War I and the “Roaring Twenties,” 1914 to 1929 319

Women during World War I, 1914 -1918 319

Woman Suffrage Triumphant 329

Change and Continuity during the 1920s 340

Racial Issues 353

Study Guide 362

Suggestions for Further Reading 363

Chapter Eight “Making Do and Pitching In”: The Great Depression and World War II, 1929 to 1945 370

The Great Depression of the 1930s 370

Life during the 1930s 386

World War II, 1941-1945 396

Survival of Regionalism during the Depression and World War II 407

Study Guide 412

Suggestions for Further Reading 413

Images and Realities (Photographs) Follow page 418 418

Chapter Nine The Feminine Mystique and Beyond, 1945 to 1965 419

Back-to-the-Home Movement of the Late 1940s and the 1950s 420

Beyond Suburbia: The Late 1940s and the 1950s 431

Emerging Feminism: The Early 1960s 443

Women’s Lives: The Early 1960s 452

Study Guide 462

Suggestions for Further Reading 463

Chapter Ten Modern American Women: 1965 to the Present 468

The Feminist Movement, 1965-1985 469

Assessing Gains and Losses, 1965-1985 488

Since 1985 500

Study Guide 517

Suggestions for Further Reading 518

Conclusion: Looking Toward the Future 526

Index xii (follow page 530)

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Author Information

Glenda Riley is Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History Emeritus at Ball State University. Formerly, she was professor of history and director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Northern Iowa. Professor Riley has also served as visiting endowed professor at University College, Dublin; Marquette University; and Mesa State College, In addition to authoring four editions of Inventing the American Women, Professor Riley has written The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley (1994), A Place to Grow: Women in the American West (1992), Divorce: An American Tradition (1991), The Female Frontier: A Comparative View of Women on the Prairie and Plains (1988), Women and Indians on the Frontier, 1825-1915 (1984), Frontierswomen: The Iowa Experience (1981; 2d ed., 1994), Women and Nature: Saving the “Wild” West (1999), Taking Land, Breaking Land: Women Colonizing the American West and Kenya, 1840-1940 (2003), and Confronting Race: Women and Indians on the Frontier, 1815-1915 (2004), as ell as numerous published articles, reviews, and chapters in edited volumes. Professor Riley now lives on a horse ranch in historic Lincoln County, New Mexico, and is a member of such organizations as the Lincoln County Historical Society and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Posse.
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Praise for the 2nd edition:

"This is a wonderful set of two volumes on the history of American women, from the earliest colonial period to the 1990s. It is based on a wide variety of sources, and it is extensively documented. Anyone interested in the history of women in the United States should consult this important work." (The Historical Journal of Massachusetts, Summer 1995)
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