Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

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p. ix

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

In 1901, Veronica Loncki and her parents immigrated to the United States, landing first in New York and then moving on to Chicago’s north side, where she lived for the next seven decades. Loncki was fourteen when she left eastern Europe for America, and eventually married John Orkee in 1910...

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1. "Marriages Were a Little Different Then": Marriages Upon Short Acquaintance, and Immigrant, Working Class Life

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pp. 13-50

In 1904, a young Polish woman immigrated to the United States, eventually settled in New Britain, Connecticut, and immediately went to work at a lock factory in town. “First I had to put all the parts into the lock, [and] every pin into place,” she recalled, “and then I had to slip it under a machine, press a foot lever...

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2. The Era of Large Ballrooms and Famous Bands: The Rise of Commercial Leisure and the Making of a Peer Culture

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pp. 51-81

In 1913, Angela Mischke immigrated with her family to the United States and settled in Chicago. As a young women, Mischke had a busy social life. She and her brother Karol used to “read a lot, played cards, and roller skated.” With her girl friends, she “went swimming, played jacks, skipped rope...

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3. "The Girls Here Are Like Crazy": Working-Class Women's Heterosocial Leisure and Homosocial Fun

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pp. 82-114

In November 1913, an investigator for the Committee of Fourteen interviewed Rose Kaiser, a twenty-two-year-old who worked at a department store in New York and lived with her parents on 98th Street between Second and Third Avenues. Kaiser, the investigator concluded, was a “dance hall habitué.”...

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4. "That's Alright, I Have My Gang Here": Working-Class Male Culture and the Struggle over Gender, Identity, and Dance

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pp. 115-156

On a rainy Chicago night in 1925, Julia Podraza met her future husband, George Matiasek. George was a friend of Julia’s oldest brother, Frank, who played baseball with George on the neighborhood corner lot. On that night, Frank brought George home with him to “get protected from the rain”...

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5. "And You Know the Old Saying about Familiarity Breeding Contempt": Working-Class Male Culture, Social Clubs, and Heterosocial Leisure

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pp. 157-197

In 1926, William Krueger, who was a carpenter by trade, declared, “I don’t trust these Chicago girls.” “As soon as they find a man is through spending money on them they are through.” A taxi dancer named Ann Novak, for example, dated Krueger twice and then abruptly asked for a pair of six-dollar slippers...

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6. "When it Comes to My Marrying, Boy, There Will Be a Lot of Strings Pulled by My Parents": Familial Conflict, Commercial Leisure, and Weddings

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pp. 198-233

In the 1930s, a young Italian woman named Clara P., who was a shirt factory worker and who lived with her parents, admitted that “some times you got to lie.” According to Clara, she usually had an “enjoyable time at home,” but she felt her parents had “green ideas” and were “old fashioned”...

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Conclusion

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pp. 234-238

Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many southern and eastern European immigrant women became “child brides,” and many couples married “upon not too long acquaintance” because of the living conditions with which they had to contend. Apart from family and community...

Notes

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pp. 239-278

Bibliography

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pp. 279-288

Index

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pp. 289-292

About the Author

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p. 293

Illustrations

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