"A masterful integration of history and literature . . . This is a groundbreaking work, outstanding for its clarity, scope, exemplary scholarship, and wealth of fact and insight."
Laura Hapke argues that working women, from industrial wage earners to business professionals, were the literary and cultural scapegoats of the 1930s. In locating these key texts in the "don't steal a job from a man" furor of the time, she draws on a wealth of material not usually considered by literary scholars, including articles on gender and the job controversy; Labor Department Women's Bureau statistics; "true romance" stories and "fallen woman" films; studies of African American women's wage earning; and Fortune magazine pronouncements on white-collar womanhood.
A valuable revisionist study, Daughters of the Great Depression shows how fiction's working heroines--so often cast as earth mothers, flawed mothers, lesser comrades, harlots, martyrs, love slaves, and manly or apologetic professionals--joined their real-life counterparts to negotiate the misogynistic labor climate of the 1930s.
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