Women and the Work of Benevolence: Morality, Politics, and Class in the Nineteenth-Century United States

Lori D. Ginzberg, Author Yale University Press $48 (256p) ISBN 978-0-300-04704-2
Ginzberg, professor of history and women's studies at Penn State University, here theorizes that organized charity in the U.S. in the last century evolved from a gender-based movement to a class-based one. The prominent do-gooders in the early 1800s were primarily white, Protestant women of means whose activism flowered after the Civil War in suffragette, temperance and other movements. Citing feminist studies of the period and the work and writing of the century's activist women, Ginzberg traces the role of women in the development of class identity and the emergence of a middle class. The long tradition of women's reform activism is copiously documented in this scholarly thematic study. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-300-05254-1
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