“This well-written monograph shows meticulous research. It integrates themes of race, class, and gender and infuses into a local study relevant regional and national literature while identifying the unique local context.”
—Journal of Southern History
Beginning with an overview of New Orleans politics in the early twentieth century, Tyler looks at the presuffrage political activities of New Orleans women and discusses the relatively dormant state of women’s political life in New Orleans in the 1920s. From there she traces, in the careers of the city’s women leaders, a shift away from humanitarian, social justice issues toward politics. Subsequent chapters focus on Hilda Phelps Hammond and the Louisiana Women’s Committee’s crusade against Huey Long’s political machine in the 1930s, Martha Gilmore Robinson and the nonpartisan activities of the Woman Citizen’s Union and the League of Women Voters in the 1930s and 1940s, and the partisanship and direct political influence of the Independent Women’s Organization in the 1940s and 1950s. The final chapters consider Martha Gilmore Robinson’s unsuccessful bid for a seat on the New Orleans city council in 1954 and the civil rights activities in the 1950s and 1960s of Urban League stalwart Rosa Freeman Keller, now judged to be the most effective white liberal of her time in New Orleans.
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