Daily Life of Women in the Progressive Era
by Kirstin Olsen
June 2019, 433pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6328-8
$61, 51€, A88
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6329-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A period of immense social change and volatility, the Progressive Era saw America’s rural traditions and culture collide with widespread urbanization and industrialization.

This book illustrates the social change that took place in the lives of women during the Progressive Era.

The political and social change of the Progressive Era brought conflicts over labor, women’s rights, consumerism, religion, sexuality, and many other aspects of American life. As Americans argued and fought over suffrage and political reform, vast changes were also taking place in women’s professional, material, personal, recreational, and intellectual lives. In this installment of Greenwood’s Daily Life through History series, award-winning author Kirstin Olsen brings to life the everyday experiences, priorities, and challenges of women in America’s Progressive Era (ca. 1890–1920).

From the barnstorming “bloomer girls” who showed America that women could play baseball to film star, tycoon, and co-founder of the Academy of Motion Pictures Mary Pickford, and from the highly skilled “Hello Girls”—telephone operators who helped win World War I—to the remarkable journalist and civil rights activist Ida Wells-Barnett, women led both famous and ordinary lives that were shaped by and helped to drive the dramatic social change taking place during the Progressive Era.

All of this and more is described in this book through topical sections as well as stories and profiles that reveal to readers the daily lives of America’s women who lived during the Progressive Era. Readers will benefit from Olsen’s characteristically sharp eye for detail, power of description, and breadth of historical knowledge.


  • Ties social history and the experiences of women to one of the most important periods in American History: the Progressive Era
  • Includes illustrations that document the everyday life of and attitudes toward women in the Progressive Era
  • Documents firsthand the daily lives of women in the Progressive Era via reproduced primary sources
  • Tells the story of key events such as the triumph of the suffrage movement from the lives of everyday American women
  • Brings to life the “real women” who lived during a period that is well known for its political events but less understood in terms of daily life
Kirstin Olsen is a Princeton-educated history educator and department chair at the Kirby School in Santa Cruz, CA. She is author of the award-winning All Things Shakespeare: An Encyclopedia of Shakespeare's World, as well as other books including Daily Life in 18th-Century England and All Things Austen: An Encyclopedia of Austen's World.


"This strong, informative resource is recommended for larger college and university libraries."—Booklist, November 15, 2019

Daily Life

What was life really like for ordinary people in other cultures throughout history? How did they raise their children? What did they do for fun? From sexual mores in ancient Egypt to resistance music in modern Latin America, and from the fashion sense of the Mongols to the importance of film in modern India, the world comes alive in the indispensable hands-on volumes of this award-winning series. A truly interdisciplinary resource, the Daily Life series covers arts; religion; food; literature; language; romance; rites of passage and coming of age; marriage customs; social and government structure; sickness and cures; warfare; sports and games; holidays; festivals; and more. With direct ties to the curriculum and supported by the most current research, these authoritative volumes are organized in an accessible narrative chapter format, and supplemented with photos, maps, and other ready-reference materials, Daily Life volumes are ideal sources for general readers and students of world history, United States history, social studies, anthropology, religion, literature, arts, and more.

Each volume provides:
• An exploration of complex eras in history on a level accessible to students and general readers
• Authoritative coverage stemming from the most current scholarship and recent discoveries
• A focus on social rather than political history in key curricular areas, providing an in-depth understanding of the nuts and bolts of daily life
• Interactive, exciting details such as recipes, sheet music, rules for games, song lyrics, and more
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