John Wiley & Sons American Women's History Cover Offers a nuanced account of the multiple aspects of women's lives and their roles in American societ.. Product #: 978-1-119-68382-7 Regular price: $50.37 $50.37 In Stock

American Women's History

A New Narrative History

Blair, Melissa E. / Holden, Vanessa M. / Kane, Maeve


1. Edition October 2023
240 Pages, Softcover

ISBN: 978-1-119-68382-7
John Wiley & Sons

Further versions


Offers a nuanced account of the multiple aspects of women's lives and their roles in American society

American Women's History presents a comprehensive survey of women's experience in the U.S. and North America from pre-European contact to the present. Centering women of color and incorporating issues of sexuality and gender, this student-friendly textbook draws from cutting-edge scholarship to provide a more inclusive and complicated perspective on the conventional narrative of U.S. women's history. Throughout the text, the authors highlight diverse voices such as Matoaka (Pocahontas), Hilletie van Olinda, Margaret Sanger, and Annelle Ponder.

Arranged chronologically, American Women's History explores the major turning points in American women's history while exploring various contexts surrounding race, work, politics, activism, and the construction of self. Concise chapters cover a uniquely wide range of topics, such as the roles of Indigenous women in North American cultures, the ways women participated in the American Revolution, the lives of women of color in the antebellum South and their experiences with slave resistance and rebellion, the radical transformation brought on by Black women during Reconstruction, the activism of women before and after suffrage was won, and more.
* Discusses how Indigenous women navigated cross-cultural contact and resisted assimilation efforts after the arrival of Europeans
* Considers the construction of Black female bodies and the implications of the slave trade in the Americas
* Addresses the cultural shifts, demographic changes, and women's rights movements of the early twentieth century
* Highlights women's participation in movements for civil rights, workplace justice, and equal educational opportunities
* Explores the feminist movement and its accomplishments, the rise of anti-feminism, and women's influence on the modern political landscape

Designed for both one- and two-semester U.S. history courses, American Women's History is an ideal resource for instructors looking for a streamlined textbook that will complement existing primary sources that work well in their classes. Due to its focus on women of color, it is particularly valuable for community colleges and other institutions with diverse student populations.

Brief Introduction ix

Part I
Maeve Kane

1 Sky Woman, Dawnland, Turtle Island 3

Studying the Past 4

Creation 5

Peopling of the Americas 7

The Spread of Maize 9

Interpreting Cahokia 11

Jigonsaseh and the Founding 13

Chaco and Pueblo 14

Near the Rocks and Seagulls 16

Conclusion 17

Bibliography 17

2 Settling and Unsettling, 1492-1600 18

Early Encounters 18

"Virgin" Landscapes 22

Gender, Slavery, and the Creation of Race 24

Sex, Gender, and Sexuality 27

Conclusion 29

Bibliography 30

3 Growth and Disruption, 1600-1690 31

Creating Race 32

Race and Reproduction 34

Legislating Race 36

Good Wives and Disruptive Women 38

Gender and Social Order 41

Gender and Legal Rights 44

Conclusion 45

Bibliography 46

4 Atlantic Connections, 1690-1750 47

Gender and Warfare 48

Salem Witch Trials 50

Intermarriage and Intermediaries 52

Women and the Atlantic World of Goods 54

Conclusion 56

Bibliography 56

5 Rebellion and Revolution, 1750-1800 58

Resistance Before Revolution 59

Women's Land and Women's Lives 60

Gender and Liberty 61

Remember the Ladies 62

Cannons Roaring 64

The Society of Patriotic Ladies 66

A War Against Vegetables 67

Infant Liberty Nursed by Mother Mob 69

Conclusion 72

Bibliography 72

Part II
Vanessa M. Holden

6 Expansion and Division: The Women's Market Revolution, 1800-1820s 75

Maria Stewart: Women of Color, Activism, and the Rising Middle Class 76

A Land- Based Empire: Women's Migrations 78

Migrations and the Women's Market Economy: Feminine Ideals, Domestic Labor, and Wage Labor Opportunities 79

Making the South: Southern Women and Planter Migration 82

Making the North: European Immigration and Women's Labor 84

The West and Far West: Imagining Empire on Indigenous Lands 85

Conclusion 85

Bibliography 86

7 Reform, Revolt, and Women's Rights, 1830s-1860s 87

Competing Womanhoods: Middle- Class Women and Emerging Definitions of Womanhood 88

Reform and Imperial Aims: Women and "Civilizing" Missions 92

Indigenous Women Strategize for Survival: Violence and Indian Removal 94

Regions Drift Apart: Womanhood, Labor, and Regionalism 96

Class Relations and Women's Activism: Constructing a Deserving Poor 99

Conclusion 102

Bibliography 102

8 Disunion, 1850-1860 104

The Dred Scott Decision: Women's Intimate Lives, Marriage, and American's Crisis over Slavery 105

From the Margins to the Center: Abolitionism and Women's Activism in the Antebellum Period 107

The Crisis of 1850, Women in the West, and Women's Activism 110

Conclusion 112

Bibliography 113

9 The Civil War: Women's Homefronts and Battlefields 114

Harriet Tubman: Foot Soldier of Emancipation and War Veteran 114

1861: The Beginning 115

Bloody Realities 117

1862: A War for Emancipation 118

Escalating Casualties and Advances in Sanitation 119

1863: Battlefields and Homefronts 120

Joining the Fight: Soldiers with Female Bodies 122

1864: Women Face Hard War 123

1865: Emancipation, Lincoln's Assassination, and Reunion 124

Conclusion 125

Bibliography 125

10 Reconstruction and the Rise of Jane Crow 127

The Emancipation Generation 128

Fighting for Freedom: An Era of Hope and Promise 129

Reform and Reconstruction: Women's Rights and African American Civil Rights Clash 133

Creating an Old South to Build a New South: Southern Women 135

New Waves of Immigration: New Americans, Old Prejudices, and the Era of Chinese Exclusion 136

Conclusion: Freedom Dream Deferred and the Gradual Arrival of Jane Crow 139

Bibliography 140

Part III
Melissa E. Blair 143

11 New Women: 1890-1920 145

African American Women's Activism, 1890s-1920 146

Marriage, Children, and Family Life 148

Women and Work at the Turn of the Century 150

The Progressive Movement 152

The Final Path to Women's Suffrage 155

Bibliography 158

12 Women Between the Wars, 1920-1945 160

Work, Family, and Sexuality in the 1920s 161

After Suffrage: Women's Politics in the 1920s 164

The Great Depression 167

World War II 170

Bibliography 173

13 The Long Fifties, 1945-65 175

The Civil Rights Movement 176

Babies, Suburbs, and Politics: White Middle- Class Lives 180

Sexuality and the Cold War 183

Women and Work in an Age of Abundance 186

Bibliography 188

14 Changes Everywhere, 1965-1980 190

Feminism and Structural Change 191

Black Feminism, Chicana Feminism, and Race- Based Organizing 196

Demographics of Women's Lives in the 1970s: Family Change and Economic Collapse 200

Women and the Rise of the New Right 201

Bibliography 203

15 Women in Contemporary America, 1980-2020 205

The Fights Continue: Gay Rights and Abortion Rights 206

Daily Life at the Turn of the Century: Work, Immigration, and Family 209

Partisan Politics and Grassroots Activism 213

Popular Culture at the Turn of the Century: Contradictory Images of Women 217

Bibliography 219

Index 221
MELISSA E. BLAIR is an Associate Professor of History at Auburn University. She is the author of Revolutionizing Expectations: Women's Organizations, Feminism, and American Politics 1965-1980 and Bringing Home the White House: The Hidden History of Women Who Shaped the Presidency in the Twentieth Century.

VANESSA M. HOLDEN is an Associate Professor of History and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of, Surviving Southampton: African American Women and Resistance in Nat Turner's Community. She is also the director of the Central Kentucky Slavery Initiative through which she manages numerous public history projects.

MAEVE KANE is Associate Professor of History at the University at Albany -- State University of New York. Her recent published work includes Shirts Powdered Red: Haudenosaunee Gender, Trade, and Exchange Across Three Centuries, as well as articles in the journal Ethnohistory, The Journal of Early American History, and a chapter in the edited collection Women and the American Revolution.