Daily Life of Women in Postwar America
by Nancy Hendricks
February 2021, 291pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7128-3
$63, £47, 55€, A86
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7129-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

After World War II, the daily lives of American women were more comfortable and prosperous than they’d ever been. Why, then, did so many take “happy pills” otherwise known as “mother’s little helpers”?

From Beatniks to Sputnik and from Princess Grace to Peyton Place, this book illuminates the female half of the U.S. population as they entered a "brave new world" that revolutionized women's lives.

After World War II, the United States was the strongest, most powerful nation in the world. Life was safe and secure—but many women were unhappy with their lives. What was going on behind the closed doors of America’s “picture-perfect” houses?

This volume includes chapters on the domestic, economic, intellectual, material, political, recreational, and religious lives of the average American woman after World War II. Chapters examine topics such as the entertainment industry’s evolving concept of womanhood; Supreme Court decisions; the shifting idea of women and careers; advertising; rural, urban, and suburban life; issues women of color faced; and child rearing and other domestic responsibilities.

A timeline of important events and glossary help to round out the text, along with further readings and a bibliography to point readers to additional resources for their research. Ideal for students in high school and college, this volume provides an important look at the revolutionary transformation of women’s lives in the decades following World War II.


  • Spotlights individuals of diverse backgrounds throughout
  • Includes a helpful introductory overview for each section that places it in historical context
  • Presents cultural and historical highlights impacting women in an easy-to-follow timeline
  • Underscores terms familiar to postwar American women nationwide in a glossary
  • Leads readers toward other sources to broaden their understanding in bibliographical entries
  • Contains academic references and suggestions for further reading
Nancy Hendricks holds a doctorate in education and is an award-winning author with such books as Notable Women of Arkansas: From Hattie to Hillary, 100 Names to Know, which was represented at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Her other books include America's First Ladies: A Historical Encyclopedia and Primary Document Collection of the Remarkable Women of the White House and Daily Life in 1950s America, among others. She has received the Pryor Award for Arkansas Women's History, the Arkansas Governor's Arts Award, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Women in History Award, and the White House Millennium Award.


"Recommended for high-school, undergraduate, and public libraries serving students with an interest in mid- to late-twentieth century his/her-stories."—Booklist, April 15, 2021

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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