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Battling Miss Bolsheviki : The Origins of Female Conservatism in the United States - Kirsten Marie Delegard

Battling Miss Bolsheviki

The Origins of Female Conservatism in the United States

Hardcover Published: 24th November 2011
ISBN: 9780812243666
Number Of Pages: 320

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Why did the political authority of well-respected female reformers diminish after women won the vote? In Battling Miss Bolsheviki Kirsten Marie Delegard argues that they were undercut during the 1920s by women conservatives who spent the first decade of female suffrage linking these reformers to radical revolutions that were raging in other parts of the world. In the decades leading up to the Nineteenth Amendment, women activists had enjoyed great success as reformers, creating a political subculture with settlement houses and women's clubs as its cornerstones. Female volunteers piloted welfare programs as philanthropic ventures and used their organizations to pressure state, local, and national governments to assume responsibility for these programs.

These female activists perceived their efforts as selfless missions necessary for the protection of their homes, families, and children. In seeking to fulfill their "maternal" responsibilities, progressive women fundamentally altered the scope of the American state, recasting the welfare of mothers and children as an issue for public policy. At the same time, they carved out a new niche for women in the public sphere, allowing female activists to become respected authorities on questions of social welfare. Yet in the aftermath of the suffrage amendment, the influence of women reformers plummeted and the new social order once envisioned by progressives appeared only more remote.

Battling Miss Bolsheviki chronicles the ways women conservatives laid siege to this world of female reform, placing once-respected reformers beyond the pale of political respectability and forcing most women's clubs to jettison advocacy for social welfare measures. Overlooked by historians, these new activists turned the Daughters of the American Revolution and the American Legion Auxiliary into vehicles for conservative political activism. Inspired by their twin desires to fulfill their new duties as voting citizens and prevent North American Bolsheviks from duplicating the success their comrades had enjoyed in Russia, they created a new political subculture for women activists. In a compelling narrative, Delegard reveals how the antiradicalism movement reshaped the terrain of women's politics, analyzing its enduring legacy for all female activists for the rest of the twentieth century and beyond.

Industry Reviews

"Battling Miss Bolsheviki is a well-written addition to scholarship on women's social movements in the United States. . . . It should be read by anyone interested in women's politics in the twentieth century."-Women and Social Movements, International

Introduction Chapter 1. The Birth of "Miss Bolsheviki": Women, Gender, and the Red Scare Chapter 2. The Origins of the Spider Web Chart: Women and the Construction of the Bolshevik Threat Chapter 3. "It Takes Women to Fight Women": The Emergence of Female Antiradicalism Chapter 4. Stopping the "Revolution by Legislation": Antiradicals Unite Against Social Welfare Reform Chapter 5. The "Red Menace" Roils the Grass Roots: The Conservative Insurgency Reshapes Women's Organizations Chapter 6. The Legacy of Female Antiradicalism Epilogue: From Antiradicalism to Anticommunism Acronyms for Archival Sources Notes Index Acknowledgments

ISBN: 9780812243666
ISBN-10: 0812243668
Series: Politics and Culture in Modern America
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 24th November 2011
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.65

Earn 283 Qantas Points
on this Book