The 1950s is a comparatively under-researched area for gender studies. Anyone wanting to understand the constructed gender roles which underpinned not only girls' and women's lives but also those of boys and men, would do no better than to start with this excellent book.
Previous investigators, whom Todd scrupulously acknowledges, have focused, she argues, on London and on urban communities such as Preston and the Potteries with a strong tradition of working wives—or on the world beyond work.
James M. Smith’s book, Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment (2007) fills a significant gap in research about the Magdalen laundries and their impact on Irish society. Frances Finnegan’s Do Penance or Perish (2001) has also tackled the subject, but her study is confined to the Good Shepherd asylums that operated in Ireland.
Professor Abrams has written a profound and illuminating study of a relatively-isolated, but not inward-looking, community which has been perceived by outsiders as a quintessentially masculine society and yet which was, at least until the 1960s, very much ‘a woman’s world’.
This is a ground-breaking social history of single men and women in England from the early to the mid-20th century. Up until recently, historians of the family have prioritised the experiences of those men and women who married and became parents.
I think I would like Gerald Shenk but I am not certain that I agree with him. I like the fact that he does not make any secret of where his allegiances lie.
Melissa R. Klapper’s Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America, 1860–1920 explores the identity of middle-class Jewish girls through use of a wide range of sources, including letters and diaries. This important contribution to the history of American Jews builds on previous work that has emphasized immigrants and working class families, the east coast, and urban centres.
Behind Enemy Lines is about the experiences of women and men who were recruited and trained by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), and then infiltrated into France to undertake clandestine resistance operations such as sabotage.
Georgine Clarsen has produced a fascinating account of women motorists in the first three decades of the automobile age. Her crisp and elegant prose takes the reader on a speedy trip over a wide range of terrain, indicating the importance of the car in the cultural politics of the early 20th century.
In the two decades since Margaret Rossiter’s first volume on Women Scientists in America (1), there has been a steady series of books which have investigated the place of women in science, seeking to discover if and where they existed, the nature of their of their contribution and the reasons why for so often and so long there has been a perceived disjuncture