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A lesser life : the myth of women's liberation in America / Sylvia Ann Hewlett.

By: Hewlett, Sylvia Ann, 1946-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : W. Morrow, c1986Description: 461 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 0688048552; 9780688048556.Subject(s): Feminism -- United States | Women -- United States -- Social conditions | Women -- United States -- Economic conditions | Geschichte 1940-1980DDC classification: 305.4/2/0973 Other classification: 71.31 | 71.33
Contents:
Introduction -- A personal view -- Between the devil and the deep blue sea -- The economic fallout of divorce -- The wage gap -- Children: the other victims -- The women's movement -- Image and reality -- Equal rights versus social benefits -- Women's liberation and motherhood -- The ERA: a test case -- The aberrant fifties -- Ultradomesticity: the return to hearth and home -- The rise of a cult of motherhood -- Revolt and reaction -- The unraveling of the fifties -- The male rebellion -- Contemporary women: two hostile camps -- Political possibilities -- What can trade unions do for women -- The establishment gropes for an answer -- Epilogue: voices from post-feminist generation.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HQ1426 .H457 1986 (Browse shelf) Available 0000000974980

Bibliography: p. 405-447.

Includes index.

Introduction -- A personal view -- Between the devil and the deep blue sea -- The economic fallout of divorce -- The wage gap -- Children: the other victims -- The women's movement -- Image and reality -- Equal rights versus social benefits -- Women's liberation and motherhood -- The ERA: a test case -- The aberrant fifties -- Ultradomesticity: the return to hearth and home -- The rise of a cult of motherhood -- Revolt and reaction -- The unraveling of the fifties -- The male rebellion -- Contemporary women: two hostile camps -- Political possibilities -- What can trade unions do for women -- The establishment gropes for an answer -- Epilogue: voices from post-feminist generation.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Hewlett, who has a doctorate in economics, has written an unsupported attack on the women's movement. Her initial observation is validwomen in America lack adequate assistance from government and industry to meet responsibilities both at home and at work. But she goes on, illogically, to blame the women's movement, misrepresenting feminist positions on daycare and parental leave. She also distorts the experience of the 1950s, ignoring the rising number of women workers, erroneously implying a decline. This incomplete and biased treatment reveals that Hewlett misunderstands both the women's movement and the conservatism of American society. (She is British.) Not recommended, despite publisher's plans for extensive advertising. Cynthia Harrison, American Historical Assn., Washington, D.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Hewlett's book offers a compelling argument for the necessity of good child-care provision and maternity leave so that women have a reasonable chance at economic security and occupational achievement. Her argument is effectively buttressed by an expose of how poorly the US does in providing these essential services to women, especially in comparison to other Western industrialized democracies. Hewlett also attempts to analyze why US provisions for mothers are so inadequate in comparison to those of even more ideologically sexist countries, such as Italy. This effort at analysis fails miserably. There is much invective directed against the supposedly elitist and indifferent US women's movement, and an ambivalent chapter about US trade unions as women's only recourse. There is, however, no consideration of the very different structural position of unions in Europe, nor of the long socialist tradition there that together create the context for recognition of women's special needs. Liberal feminism, rather than the US ideology of liberal individualism in general, is blamed for treating children as an individual ``choice'' and cost. The problems are indeed as great as Hewlett describes, but her analysis of causes brings little light to bear on them.-M.M. Ferree, University of Connecticut

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