Catalogue

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In Uncle Sam's service : women workers with the American Expeditionary Force, 1917-1919 /
Susan Zeiger.
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, c1999.
description
x, 211 p. : ill.
ISBN
0801431662
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, c1999.
isbn
0801431662
general note
Originally presented as the author's thesis (Ph. D.)--New York University, 1991.
catalogue key
3460613
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Susan Zeiger is Associate Professor of History at Regis College
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-09-01:
Zeiger's exemplary book delivers more than its title promises. Add it to the short list of sophisticated, thoughtful studies on women and war. After establishing and accounting for the WASP background of most of the women volunteers abroad, Zeiger spends a chapter each on auxiliary workers, stenographers and switchboard operators, and nurses. The author has a good eye for illustrative quotation and the discipline to avoid a compilation of anecdotes. Her work is distinguished by illuminating attention to the context of developments in the military, in women's status, and in nursing and communications. In clear prose Zeiger explicates WW I particularities in the tensions and contradictions between ideas about women and about war. Most of the volunteers apparently went to gain at some level a man's freedom; their responses were not necessarily "womanly," ranging from bloodthirsty vengeance to revulsion at war's violence. Though veteran servicewomen were, individually, often much shaped by their wartime involvement, Zeiger concludes that the experience "wrought no dramatic transformation in women's social position." The modest conclusion is in this case entirely satisfying because of Zeiger's convincing explanations. All levels. A. Graebner; College of St. Catherine
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
WW1 was the first American war in which women were mobilised on a mass scale by the armed services. Although wealthy volunteers monopolised public attention, Zeiger reveals that the majority of AEF women were wage-earners.
Main Description
During World War I, the first American war in which women were mobilized on a mass scale by the armed services, more than sixteen thousand women served overseas with the American Expeditionary Force. Although wealthy women volunteers--members of the so-called ?heiress corps?--monopolized public attention, Susan Zeiger reveals that the majority of AEF women were wage-earners. Their motives for enlistment ranged from patriotism to economic self-interest, from a sense of adventure to a desire to challenge gender boundaries. Zeiger uses diaries, letters, questionnaires, oral histories, and memoirs to explore the women's experience of war. She draws upon insights from labor history, political history, popular culture, and the study of gender and war to analyze the ways in which women's wartime service heightened and made visible the contradictions in the prevailing gender relations. Zeiger argues that the interests of AEF women clashed with those of the wartime state at a crucial historical moment. Women sought to expand their personal opportunities for mobility and professional success and lay claim to equal citizenship. The government, determined to contain the disruption to the status quo, created a separate, subordinate status for women in the military, ?domesticating? women's service and reinscribing it within conventional limits.
Main Description
During World War I, the first American war in which women were mobilized on a mass scale by the armed services, more than sixteen thousand women served overseas with the American Expeditionary Force. Although wealthy women volunteers--members of the so-called "heiress corps"--monopolized public attention, Susan Zeiger reveals that the majority of AEF women were wage-earners. Their motives for enlistment ranged from patriotism to economic self-interest, from a sense of adventure to a desire to challenge gender boundaries. Zeiger uses diaries, letters, questionnaires, oral histories, and memoirs to explore the women's experience of war. She draws upon insights from labor history, political history, popular culture, and the study of gender and war to analyze the ways in which women's wartime service heightened and made visible the contradictions in the prevailing gender relations. Zeiger argues that the interests of AEF women clashed with those of the wartime state at a crucial historical moment. Women sought to expand their personal opportunities for mobility and professional success and lay claim to equal citizenship. The government, determined to contain the disruption to the status quo, created a separate, subordinate status for women in the military, "domesticating" women's service and reinscribing it within conventional limits.
Main Description
"Zeiger's exemplary book delivers more than its title promises."--
Unpaid Annotation
During World War I, the first American war in which women were mobilized on a mass scale by the armed services, more than sixteen thousand women served overseas with the American Expeditionary Force. Although wealthy women volunteers -- members of the so-called "heiress corps" -- monopolized public attention, Susan Zeiger reveals that the majority, of AEF women were wage-earners. Their motives for enlistment ranged from patriotism to economic self-interest, from a sense of adventure to a desire to challenge gender boundaries.Zeiger uses diaries, letters, questionnaires, oral histories, and memoirs to explore the women's experience of war. She draws upon insights from labor history, political history, popular culture, and the study of gender and war to analyze the ways in which women's wartime service heightened and made visible the contradictions in the prevailing gender relations. Zeiger argues that the interests of AEF women clashed with those of the wartime state at a crucial historical moment. Women sought to expand their personal opportunities for mobility and professional success and lay claim to equal citizenship. The government, determined to contain the disruption to the status quo, created a separate, subordinate status for women in the military, "domesticating" women's service and reinscribing it within conventional limits.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Mobilizing Women for Warp. 11
Getting Over There: A Social Analysis of Women's Enlistmentp. 26
Serving Doughnuts to the Doughboys: Auxiliary Workers in Francep. 51
"The Stenographers Will Win the War": Army Office Workers and Telephone Operatorsp. 77
"Compassionate Sympathizers and Active Combatants": Army Nurses in Francep. 104
Serving Uncle Sam: The Meaning of Women's Wartime Servicep. 137
Notesp. 175
Indexp. 205
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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