This book provides historical analysis and rich documentation drawn from legal statutes and judicial decisions, demographic data, and public opinion polls, as well as biographies and other narrative accounts.
This work is a survey of the efforts through which women have changed their place in American society from the nation's founding to the present. Examining the historical struggle for suffrage, legal and property rights, and rights in the work place, the authors show how these experiences have shaped a contemporary movement for economic, political, and social equality that has become increasingly independent and less and less likely to place women's issues second to other national concerns.
The authors recount a history of women activists who repeatedly set aside their own issues in favor of others that seemed more pressing--from abolition and preserving the Union, to labor solidarity in the 1920s, and civil rights and the New Left in the 1960s and 1970s. Male domination of these movements and a lack of support for women's issues have been major factors in creating the contemporary feminist philosophy of going it alone. The book is divided into three topical sections, each of which offers a historical analysis and draws on a variety of sources such as legal statutes and judicial decisions, demographic information, public opinion polls, and biographies and other narrative accounts. It is a richly documented resource for courses and research in women's studies, sociology, politics, and U.S. legal and political history.