Foreign and Female

Doris Weatherford, Author, Jack Weatherford, Author
Doris Weatherford, Author, Jack Weatherford, Author Schocken Books Inc $18.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4017-7
Reviewed on: 12/01/1986
Release date: 12/01/1986
As portrayed by Florida-based political consultant Weatherford in this comprehensive survey, immigrant European women were at once vulnerable and resilient. While most of them accompanied male relatives to America, many made the journey alone as unmarried women, or with their children to rejoin husbands after prolonged separations. Although the majority of these women were uneducated, some left eloquent letters and journals drawn upon here by the author. Fatalism, she shows, was a common attitude among the women; annual pregnancies were expected to ensure potential earners and compensate for high infant mortality. Weatherford records the toll that hardship and adjustment to American lifein cities and on farmstook on the health of these women, their marriages and the family structure; and depicts the chaotic conditions caused by wars, westward migration, industrialization and labor unrest, amid which women sought to create an independent life for themselves and their children. As one of them put it, ""I learned in America not to be afraid.'' Photos not seen by PW. (January)
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