Looks at the changes in women's mass circulation journals since at the end of the 19th century.
Throughout their history, women's mass circulation journals have played a major role in the lives of millions of American women. Yet the women's magazines of the early 20th century were quite different from those perused by women today. This book looks at changes that occurred in these journals and offers insight into these changes. Business forces formed a key shaping mechanism, tempered by individual editors, readers, advertisers, technology, and cultural and social forces.
Founded in the second half of the 19th century, six titles became the largest circulators—Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, McCall's, Pictorial Review, Woman's Home Companion, and Delineator. Capturing the interest of readers and advertisers, these journals published reliable service departments, fiction, and investigative reporting; however, competition eventually bred editorial caution. This, coupled with the depression of the 1930s, led to a narrowing of content and the beginning of Betty Friedan's feminine mystique. After World War II, the journals faced competition from television. The women's liberation movement and women's entry into the work force also brought changes.