Abstract

In the first half of the twentieth century, U.S. Foreign Service officers and State Department officials understood that marriage generally enhanced an officer's career and served American foreign policy needs. At the same time, many American Foreign Service wives also spoke explicitly about their "careers" in the Foreign Service, understanding that their work as wives, mothers, hostesses, homemakers, and role models gave them considerable influence as informal representatives of the U.S. government. By looking specifically at the domestic presence of American Foreign Service wives overseas we can see the ways in which gender helped to define the conduct of American diplomacy at a time when the United States's interests were expanding rapidly around the globe. By managing an American officer's home, family, and social responsibilities, the wife played a crucial role in presenting, and representing, the United States to the rest of the world.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 142-165
Launched on MUSE
2005-06-22
Open Access
No
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