Catalogue


Mothers of conservatism : women and the postwar right /
Michelle M. Nickerson.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2012.
description
xxvi, 231 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0691121842 (hardback : acid-free paper), 9780691121840 (hardback : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2012.
isbn
0691121842 (hardback : acid-free paper)
9780691121840 (hardback : acid-free paper)
contents note
Patriotic daughters and isolationist mothers : conservative women in the early twentieth century -- All politics was local : grassroots conservatism in postwar Los Angeles -- Education or indoctrination? : conservative female activism in the Los Angeles public schools -- "Siberia, U.S.A." : psychological experts and the state -- The "conservative sex" : women and the building of a movement -- Conclusion.
catalogue key
8377726
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin? They had antecedents. Many, many antecedents. Michelle Nickerson uncovers an entire undiscovered lost continent of right-wing organizing--and in the process produces a wealth of new and profound insights about grassroots conservatism as a whole. A remarkable book."-- Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America "In this engaging book, Nickerson shows how the conservative political movement emerged from coffee klatches, church socials, strategy meetings, and rallies--all led by women. So many scholars focus on the male intellectuals and politicians whose ideas launched a political insurgency, but Nickerson thoroughly reconstructs the world of the women activists who were key players in mid-century Americas right-wing insurgency. This is an important addition to scholarship on the new right and an important intervention in womens history too."-- Thomas J. Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania "In this timely look at the grassroots origins of modern conservatism, Nickerson explores the political campaigns of anticommunist women in suburban Los Angeles during the 1950s and early 1960s. Her careful reconstruction of the ideological formation of housewife populism moves beyond the conventional wisdom of the backlash narrative by demonstrating the deep roots of family values conservatism and the central role of women in defending local communities against liberal government programs--insights that illuminate our own political moment as well."-- Matthew D. Lassiter, author of T he Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South "Focusing on conservative women in Los Angeles in the early years of the Cold War, this first-rate book challenges an established literature portraying women in the 1950s as domesticated and isolated in the private sphere of the home. By detailing their political activities, Nickerson persuasively shows how women constituted a vanguard of the conservative movement emerging in the postwar period."-- Donald Critchlow, Barry Goldwater Chair of American Institutions, Arizona State University " Mothers of Conservatism is full of insight, terrific research, and vivid stories. Nickersons key points and approach are brave and smart, and she shows that the work of certain women in the Cold War period represented an unconventional female activism. Neither crazy nor dupes, but serious activists, these women used the local political sphere to exert considerable influence in building the rise of American conservatism."-- Linda Gordon, New York University
Flap Copy
"Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin? They had antecedents. Many, many antecedents. Michelle Nickerson uncovers an entire undiscovered lost continent of right-wing organizing--and in the process produces a wealth of new and profound insights about grassroots conservatism as a whole. A remarkable book."--Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America "In this engaging book, Nickerson shows how the conservative political movement emerged from coffee klatches, church socials, strategy meetings, and rallies--all led by women. So many scholars focus on the male intellectuals and politicians whose ideas launched a political insurgency, but Nickerson thoroughly reconstructs the world of the women activists who were key players in mid-century America's right-wing insurgency. This is an important addition to scholarship on the new right and an important intervention in women's history too."--Thomas J. Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania "In this timely look at the grassroots origins of modern conservatism, Nickerson explores the political campaigns of anticommunist women in suburban Los Angeles during the 1950s and early 1960s. Her careful reconstruction of the ideological formation of housewife populism moves beyond the conventional wisdom of the backlash narrative by demonstrating the deep roots of family values conservatism and the central role of women in defending local communities against liberal government programs--insights that illuminate our own political moment as well."--Matthew D. Lassiter, author of T he Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South "Focusing on conservative women in Los Angeles in the early years of the Cold War, this first-rate book challenges an established literature portraying women in the 1950s as domesticated and isolated in the private sphere of the home. By detailing their political activities, Nickerson persuasively shows how women constituted a vanguard of the conservative movement emerging in the postwar period."--Donald Critchlow, Barry Goldwater Chair of American Institutions, Arizona State University " Mothers of Conservatism is full of insight, terrific research, and vivid stories. Nickerson's key points and approach are brave and smart, and she shows that the work of certain women in the Cold War period represented an unconventional female activism. Neither crazy nor dupes, but serious activists, these women used the local political sphere to exert considerable influence in building the rise of American conservatism."--Linda Gordon, New York University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-02-01:
Women are an important part of the conservative movement in the US. Nickerson (Loyola Univ., Chicago) seeks to explain why women would identify with what she believes are reactionary forces working against progressives struggling for social justice for all oppressed people, of whom the most numerous are women. Her case study focuses on women in Los Angeles County in the 1950s who mobilized to ensure that progressive policies were not implemented in public schools. In the city of Pasadena, they successfully ousted a progressive school superintendent. The author describes how the conservative women wrote newsletters, organized study groups, and ran conservative bookstores to spread their ideology to other women. Her book reads like a dissertation and employs the terminology of critical feminist theory, which is likely to make it attractive only to those in that field. General readers and undergraduates may prefer Lisa McGirr's Suburban Warriors (2001), which covers the rise of conservatism, including the role of women, in the same time period in neighboring Orange County. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty. P. Manian San Jose City College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Michelle M. Nickerson's carefully crafted study of grassroots conservative activists in Los Angeles County in the 1950s and early 1960s offers an important contribution to the scholarship on twentieth-century conservatism and women's political activism in the pre- Feminine Mystique (1963) 'doldrums.'"-- Sylvie Murray, American Historical Review
Nickerson has enriched conservative historiography by examining the integral role women played in conservatism's development and implementation and has forced feminist historiography to confront the complications that conservative female activists bring to the literature.
"Nickerson has enriched conservative historiography by examining the integral role women played in conservatism's development and implementation and has forced feminist historiography to confront the complications that conservative female activists bring to the literature."-- Mary C. Brennan, Journal of American History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2013
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
This volume tells the story of 1950s southern Californian housewives who shaped the grassroots right in the two decades following World War II.
Main Description
Mothers of Conservatism tells the story of 1950s southern Californian housewives who shaped the grassroots right in the two decades following World War II. Michelle Nickerson describes how red-hunting homemakers mobilized activist networks, institutions, and political consciousness in local education battles, and she introduces a generation of women who developed political styles and practices around their domestic routines. From the conservative movement's origins in the early fifties through the presidential election of 1964, Nickerson documents how women shaped conservatism from the bottom up, out of the fabric of their daily lives and into the agenda of the Republican Party. Female activists formed study groups, gave lectures, published newsletters, hosted public events, and opened conservative bookstores, bringing Cold War geopolitics into their local communities. Frightened that communism was infecting the minds of their children through the public education system, these women took it upon themselves to address potential threats. This sense of duty, ironically, removed many of them from the house for numerous hours of the week to perform political work, and their activities contributed to a feminine ideal that Nickerson calls the "populist housewife"--a political model of womanhood that emphasized common sense, lack of pretension, and spirituality. A unique history of the American conservative movement, Mothers of Conservatism shows how housewives got out of the house and discovered their political capital.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. viii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Abbreviationsp. xxv
Patriotic Daughters and Isolationist Mothers
Conservative Women in the Early Twentieth Centuryp. 1
All Politics Was Local
Grassroots Conservatism in Postwar Los Angelesp. 32
Education or Indoctrination?
Conservative Female Activism in the Los Angeles Public Schoolsp. 69
ôSiberia, U.S.A.ö
Psychological Experts and the Statep. 103
The ôConservative Sexö
Women and the Building of a Movementp. 136
Conclusionp. 169
Appendix Conservative Bookstores Operating in Southern California in the 1960sp. 175
Notesp. 179
Indexp. 217
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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