Editor's Note
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Editor's Note With this issue of the Journal of Women's History, we introduce two new innovations. First, borrowing from the tradition of social science journals, we are printing abstracts of articles. Our intent is not to satiate readers with short paragraphs. Rather, we hope, by providing tasty appetizers, to encourage readers to sample dishes they might otherwise wave away. We especially seek to stimulate reading across traditional geographical and chronological fields. Our second change is less noticeable. We have instituted a policy of printing signed, rather than anonymous, abstracts of books. Since much of the abstracting, although not all, is done by graduate students at Ohio State, we are happy to recognize their work (and provide them a line on their curriculum vitael). The articles in this issue, selected by the Indiana University editorial staff, all deal with politics, broadly defined. Melanie Gustafson explores the different political strategies of partisan women in the Progressive, Democratic, and Republican parties in the United States in the years before the suffrage victory. By showing how critical the 1912 campaign was in raising questions about women's partisanship, she challenges 1920 as the central divide in U.S. women's political history. Caryn Neumann likewise questions the political unity of women. Her study of the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform suggests that the standard tale of the organized women's bloc splitting apart over the question of protective legislation is not the whole story. Women opposed to Prohibition not only worked in conjunction with men's groups, but based their position on a denial of the state's right to interfere in private life rather than on traditionally "gendered" considerations. Yet at the same time, they shared with Prohibitionists an insistence that women had the right to be politically active in order to protect the home. Looking to Canada, Dan Azoulay carries our consideration of women in partisan politics into the mid-twentieth century. His biographical study of Marjorie Wells Pinney, a democratic socialist, shows that the barriers to women's participation in politics had not lowered after decades of women's inclusion in the formal political process. Azoulay's work, heavily based on oral history, traces the routes one working-class woman utilized to find a place in politics. Lillian Taiz also introduces working-class women into the story of women's political activism, in this case through the Salvation Army of the 1997 Editor's Note 7 United States. A cross-class organization where even working-class women could exercise spiritual and administrative authority, the Salvation Army at the end of the nineteenth century insisted that women had the duty to transgress traditional standards of womanly behavior because they were the same as, not different from, their male comrades. Interested, like Gustafson and Neumann, in the question of the rationales offered for women's involvement in public activity, Taiz finds that an intensely religious organization took a radical position on gender. Charles Wallace, Jr., similarly finds the seeds of rebellion in an unlikely religious tradition. He suggests that, for two turn-of-the-eighteenthcentury Anglican women devotional writers, the literal and metaphorical prayer closet functioned as a Woolfian "room of one's own." Calling these women "protofeminist," a term that Taiz does not use, Wallace sees their writing and publishing as expanding the sphere of acceptable activity for English women. In a contribution to our newly named section, "Theoretical Issues," which continues the tradition of publishing essays that reflect upon the ways we do women's history, Manuela Thurner provides an overview of the development of U.S. women's history. Originally written in German for a German audience, Thurner, in her own translation, eschews a Whiggish model by pointing out the early articulations of what are often seen as new approaches. Enlightened by poststructuralism, she emphasizes the ways in which the history we write is marked by our own times and locations . We especially underscore her call for greater exchange across national borders. Since this issue is so heavily Anglo / North American, we are delighted to include a second contribution to our "Getting to the Source" section. Karen Offen has uncovered a remarkable assertion of the importance...


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