America's Women

America's Women Cover

America's Women

Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines

By Gail Collins

Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060959814, 592pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2004


From the women peering worriedly over the side of the Mayflower to feminists having a grand old time protesting beauty pageants and bridal fairs, America's Women tells the story of how women shaped the nation and our vision of what it means to be female in America. Spanning wars, the pioneering days, the fight for suffrage, the Depression, the era of Rosie the Riveter, the civil rights movement, and the feminist rebellion of the 1970s, this book describes the way women's lives were altered by dress fashions, medical advances, rules of hygiene, social theories about sex and courtship, and the ever-changing attitudes toward education, work, and politics. While keeping her eye on the big picture, Gail Collins still notes that corsets and uncomfortable shoes mattered a lot too.