Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I received generous financial support for archival research from the Smithsonian Institution, the Hagley Museum and Library, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard Schlesinger Library, Smith College, the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center, Franklin & Marshall College, ...

Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xiv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-17

The assertion that women have a history worth telling has featured prominently in American feminism. Between suffrage and the women’s liberation movement—before the institutionalization of women’s history as a scholarly field—the mass media offered unique opportunities for promoting this message. ...

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1. Martha Washington (Would Have) Shopped Here: Women’s History in Magazines and Ephemera, 1910–1935

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pp. 18-49

This chapter explores the women’s history tropes that circulated in commercial print culture of the 1910s through the 1930s, attaining new meanings when applied by activists; corporations; and, ultimately, consumers. Following an introduction to the era’s women’s magazines and their portrayals of the past, an initial series of examples addresses feminist and activist histories appearing in print. ...

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2. “The Quaker Girl Turns Modern”: How Adwomen Promoted History, 1910–1940

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pp. 50-76

After their emergence in the 1910s, urban associations of women working in advertising flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, advocating women’s employment by publicizing women’s centrality, past and present, to America’s development.1 As adwomen defined their modern personas through comparison with historical antecedents, they dramatized the feminist tenet that gender ideals can be socially constructed and reconstructed. ...

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3. Broadcasting Yesteryear: Women’s History on Commercial Radio, 1930–1945

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pp. 77-93

As radio took hold in the United States, American history quickly became a prominent subject matter in broadcasts. Dramatizations of past events mediated between modernity and tradition, and between domesticity and public life, to define women’s roles. These popular histories reached large audiences; radio revolutionized entertainment and politics, ...

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4. Gallant American Women: Feminist Historians and the Mass Media, 1935–1950

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pp. 94-126

This chapter focuses on three feminists who strove to place factual stories about women at the center of popular historical narratives. By identifying women whose actions had shaped history, these feminists sought to elevate the status of modern women and to promote women’s history as a worthy subject. ...

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5. Betsy Ross Red Lipstick: Products as Artifacts and Inspiration, 1940–1950

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pp. 127-161

During World War II and in its aftermath, advertisements urged modern women to identify with historical examples of female boldness. But there were conflicting messages about what historical bravery signified for the present. Stories about Molly Pitcher’s wifely devotion on the battlefield and pioneer women’s labor to establish homes in the West ...

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6. “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”: Women’s History in Consumer Culture from World War II to Women’s Liberation

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pp. 162-193

In early summer 1968, the downtown office of Chicago’s First Federal Savings and Loan Association devoted nine windows on Madison and Dearborn Streets to a display on the history of “The Grand Old American Ad.” The Women’s Advertising Club of Chicago (WACC) curated the exhibit, and one window commemorated the club’s fiftieth anniversary. ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 194-198

Recalling Wonder Woman as a childhood inspiration and criticizing the character’s current incarnation, Gloria Steinem (1934–) famously resurrected the heroine’s 1940s persona—when the comic touted “Wonder Woman for President”—on the inaugural 1972 cover of Ms. magazine.1 Ms. also published an anthology of thirteen Wonder Woman stories from the 1940s, alongside interpretive essays by Steinem. ...

Notes

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pp. 199-246

Index

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pp. 247-258

About the Author

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