Front Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xvi

By its nature, editing is not highly visible work; in the case of women’s work in the mid-twentieth-century United States, that work has been buried under layers of cultural history. To fully understand the symbiotic relationship between editing, high letters, and mass literacy, ...

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Introduction: Literacy, Gender, and the Rhetorical Work of Editing

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pp. 1-36

In order to fully appreciate the work that women editors did in the mid-twentieth century, feminist researchers must reappraise the damning critique of women’s magazines so forcefully argued in 1963 by the American feminist Betty Friedan in The Feminine Mystique. It is a daunting task. ...

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One: Between the Sheets: Editing and the Making of a New Yorker Ethos

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pp. 37-72

Frequently placed on coffee tables as a shrine of literate sophistication, the New Yorker magazine enjoys an iconic status perhaps unparalleled in U.S. periodical history. In the introduction to his About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made, Ben Yagoda recounts the overwhelming subscriber response ...

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Two: “The Precision of Knives,” or More than Just Commas

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pp. 73-110

In 1925, when Ross started the magazine, Jane Grant delineated the New Yorker’s competition, stating its intentions to vie for market share with periodicals like Harper’s Weekly, Life, the Smart Set, and American Mercury.1 By the 1940s, that market, at least in terms of literary contributions, had expanded, ...

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Three: Mademoiselle, the New Yorker, and other Women’s Magazines

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pp. 111-138

The New Yorker ethos couldn’t handle modernism; its experiments in fictional and poetic techniques were judged “too complex” for the magazine’s middlebrow, readership. The so-called little magazines provided the venue for that writing.1 The New Yorker also skirted another major movement in U.S. letters, ...

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Conclusion: Lady Editors, Katharine White, and the Embodiment of Style

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pp. 139-160

Female rhetors have long been aware of the importance of dress, costume, to their rhetorical ethos and thus their rhetorical effectiveness. In Appropriate[ing] Dress, Carol Mattingly chronicles how “visual presentation” of women’s bodies is integrally tied to their effectiveness as speakers—and even as writers ...

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Afterword: Katharine White’s Bequest, or Ruminations on an Archive

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pp. 161-178

Sometime around 1968, Katharine White, then seventy-five years old and suffering from a variety of illnesses, including the skin “deficiency disease” that had caused her to lose her “entire skin,” turned her still considerable vigor to two projects. The first of these was her gardening essays, ...

Notes

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pp. 179-206

Works Cited

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pp. 207-214

Index

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pp. 215-228