Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits : American Women, 1940-1961

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Description

Americans living in the mid-20th century saw momentous change. A decade of severe economic depression in the 1930s was followed by the largest-scale war the world had ever seen. The Allies' victory in World War II brought formal peace and new prosperity but also the beginning of a tense and long-lasting cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Women's lives in the United States reflected and helped to shape these world changes. The importance of their contributions became obvious during the war, when production demands drew women into manufacturing jobs and broadcast the image of Rosie the Riveter. When the hot war ended the cold war began, marriage and birth rates began to accelerate, resulting in the famous postwar Baby Boom. Women were encouraged to give up their jobs to the returning veterans and resume their tasks as wives and mothers, and there was a mass migration to the suburbs. Thousands of women lost well-paying jobs, but many remained in the work force. Whether they were college-educated homemakers working to elevate the job of housewife to a respected career, working-class women struggling to preserve the gains of wartime, or African-American women leading the struggle for civil rights, women of all backgrounds pushed the limits of their circumstances, paving the way for the social movements of the 1960s and the feminist gains that would follow.Pushing the Limits tells the stories of ordinary women and their efforts to make a better life for themselves and their children.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 143 pages
  • 198.9 x 242.1 x 14.7mm | 530.39g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrated
  • Illustrated
  • 019508084X
  • 9780195080841

Review quote

"Oxford is to be congratulated for so quickly and well translating the newest scholarship into readable and attractive volumes for students."--Patricial M. King, Radcliffe College"If Pushing the Limits is what new books for students are like, I'm going back to school! Elaine Tyler May has written a lively and engrossing history of American women's lives in the era of World War II and the Cold War. She respects her young readers enough to offer them serious analyses of complex topics like growth of consumer culture and changes in attitudes toward sexuality. We meet women who work in factories and organize union; women--white and black--who go to college and develop professional careers; women who devote themselves to domesticity. More than 100 remarkable photographs bring the words to life. If you thought the 1950s were dull, this book will convince you that they were a fascinating decade, full of tension, argument, and important choices for both men and women."--Linda K. Kerber, Professor of History, University of Iowa, and author of Women of the Republic"Especially commendable is the inclusion of women from a variety of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds."--VOYA"Limits brings women into the years of World War II; Rosie the Riveter reigned supreme, only to be pushed back home when the war was over. During the 1950s and 1960s, mom and apple pie were upbeat images, but May does a fine job of chronicling the dark side of this phenomenon, including the mental and emotional price paid by those who didn't follow the rules."--Booklist"Lively, fascinating, lucid, accessible, balanced--a fine resource that belongs in every library."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "This refreshingly different look at history, social trends, and pop culture lends itself beautifully to classroom discussionn, and will also be useful for reports."--School Library Journal (starred review) "Oxford is to be congratulated for so quickly and well translating the newest scholarship into readable and attractive volumes for students."--Patricial M. King, Radcliffe College "If Pushing the Limits is what new books for students are like, I'm going back to school! Elaine Tyler May has written a lively and engrossing history of American women's lives in the era of World War II and the Cold War. She respects her young readers enough to offer them serious analyses of complex topics like growth of consumer culture and changes in attitudes toward sexuality. We meet women who work in factories and organize union; women--white and black--who go to college and develop professional careers; women who devote themselves to domesticity. More than 100 remarkable photographs bring the words to life. If you thought the 1950s were dull, this book will convince you that they were a fascinating decade, full of tension, argument, and important choices for both men and women."--Linda K. Kerber, Professor of History, University of Iowa, and author of Women of the Republic "Especially commendable is the inclusion of women from a variety of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds."--VOYA "Limits brings women into the years of World War II; Rosie the Riveter reigned supreme, only to be pushed back home when the war was over. During the 1950s and 1960s, mom and apple pie were upbeat images, but May does a fine job of chronicling the dark side of this phenomenon, including the mental and emotional price paid by those who didn't follow the rules."--Booklist "Lively, fascinating, lucid, accessible, balanced--a fine resource that belongs in every library."--Kirkus Reviews (starredreview) "This refreshingly different look at history, social trends, and pop culture lends itself beautifully to classroom discussionn, and will also be useful for reports."--School Library Journal (starred review) "Oxford is to be congratulated for so quickly and well translating the newest scholarship into readable and attractive volumes for students."--Patricial M. King, Radcliffe College "If Pushing the Limits is what new books for students are like, I'm going back to school! Elaine Tyler May has written a lively and engrossing history of American women's lives in the era of World War II and the Cold War. She respects her young readers enough to offer them serious analyses of complex topics like growth of consumer culture and changes in attitudes toward sexuality. We meet women who work in factories and organize union; women--white and black--who go to college and develop professional careers; women who devote themselves to domesticity. More than 100 remarkable photographs bring the words to life. If you thought the 1950s were dull, this book will convince you that they were a fascinating decade, full of tension, argument, and important choices for both men and women."--Linda K. Kerber, Professor of History, University of Iowa, and author of Women of the Republic "Especially commendable is the inclusion of women from a variety of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds."--VOYA "Limits brings women into the years of World War II; Rosie the Riveter reigned supreme, only to be pushed back home when the war was over. During the 1950s and 1960s, mom and apple pie were upbeat images, but May does a fine job of chronicling the dark side of this phenomenon, including the mental and emotional price paid by those who didn't follow the rules."--Booklist "Lively, fascinating, lucid, accessible, balanced--a fine resourcethat belongs in every library."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "This refreshingly different look at history, social trends, and pop culture lends itself beautifully to classroom discussionn, and will also be useful for reports."--School Library Journal (starred review) "Oxford is to be congratulated for so quickly and well translating the newest scholarship into readable and attractive volumes for students."--Patricial M. King, Radcliffe College"If Pushing the Limits is what new books for students are like, I'm going back to school! Elaine Tyler May has written a lively and engrossing history of American women's lives in the era of World War II and the Cold War. She respects her young readers enough to offer them serious analyses ofcomplex topics like growth of consumer culture and changes in attitudes toward sexuality. We meet women who work in factories and organize union; women--white and black--who go to college and develop professional careers; women who devote themselves to domesticity. More than 100 remarkablephotographs bring the words to life. If you thought the 1950s were dull, this book will convince you that they were a fascinating decade, full of tension, argument, and important choices for both men and women."--Linda K. Kerber, Professor of History, University of Iowa, and author of Women of theRepublic"Especially commendable is the inclusion of women from a variety of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds."--VOYA"Limits brings women into the years of World War II; Rosie the Riveter reigned supreme, only to be pushed back home when the war was over. During the 1950s and 1960s, mom and apple pie were upbeat images, but May does a fine job of chronicling the dark side of this phenomenon, including the mentaland emotional price paid by those who didn't follow the rules."--Booklist"Lively, fascinating, lucid, accessible, balanced--a fine resource that belongs in every library."--Kirkus Reviews (starredreview) "This refreshingly different look at history, social trends, and pop culture lends itself beautifully to classroom discussionn, and will also be useful forreports."--School Library Journal (starred review)show more

About Elaine Tyler May

About the Author: Elaine Tyler May is professor of American studies and history and chair of the American studies program at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Homeward Bound: American Families in the Wold War Era, Great Expectations: Marriage and Divorce in Post-Victorian American, and Barren in the Promised Land: Childless American and the Politics of Procreation.show more

Rating details

6 ratings
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5 0% (0)
4 33% (2)
3 50% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 17% (1)
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