California Women and Politics


California Women and Politics

From the Gold Rush to the Great Depression

Edited by Robert W. Cherny, Mary Ann Irwin, and Ann Marie Wilson

424 pages
18 illustrations, 2 tables


May 2011


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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May 2011


$40.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

In 1911 as progressivism moved toward its zenith, the state of California granted women the right to vote. However, women’s political involvement in California’s public life did not begin with suffrage, nor did it end there.
Across the state, women had been deeply involved in politics long before suffrage, and—although their tactics and objectives changed—they remained deeply involved thereafter. California Women and Politics examines the wide array of women’s public activism from the 1850s to 1929—including the temperance movement, moral reform, conservation, trade unionism, settlement work, philanthropy, wartime volunteerism, and more—and reveals unexpected contours to women’s politics in California. The contributors consider not only white middle-class women’s organizing but also the politics of working-class women and women of color, emphasizing that there was not one monolithic “women’s agenda,” but rather a multiplicity of women’s voices demanding recognition for a variety of causes.

Author Bio

Robert W. Cherny is a professor of history at San Francisco State University and the author, co-author, or editor of numerous books, including American Politics in the Gilded Age, 1868–1900, and, with William Issel, of San Francisco, 18651932: Politics, Power, and Urban Development. Mary Ann Irwin is an instructor in the California community college system and the author or coeditor of several books and articles, including Women and Gender in the American West: Jensen-Miller Essays from the Coalition for Western Women’s History. Ann Marie Wilson is a College Fellow and Lecturer on History at Harvard University. Her first journal article received the 2010 Fishel-Calhoun Prize of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Contributors: Cameron Binkley, Eunice Eichelberger, Susan Englander, Linda Heidenreich, Mildred Nichols Hamilton, Jarrod Harrison, Sandra L. Henderson, Mark Hopkins, Teresa Hurley, Mary Ann Irwin, Michelle Kleehammer, Rebecca Mead, Joshua Paddison, and Ann Marie Wilson.


"California Women and Politics . . . provides a fine, detailed survey of the progressive involvement of women in politics in California. Any California collection, whether general or politically inclined, must have this."—California Book Watch

"This is a well done anthology that will be useful, especially to students of California and women's history."—Julie Cohen, Western Historical Quarterly

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations   000

Preface and Acknowledgments   000

Introduction      000

1. "I Do Not Like the White Man . . . He Is a Liar and a Thief": Testimonios and the Politics of Resistance     000

      Linda Heidenreich

2. "Going About and Doing Good": The Lady Managers of San Francisco, 1850<EN>1880   000

      Mary Ann Irwin

3. "Woman Is Everywhere the Purifier": The Politics of Temperance, 1878<EN>1900     000

      Joshua Paddison

4. "Continually Doing Good": The Philanthropy of Phoebe Apperson Hearst, 1862<EN>1919     000

      Mildred Nichols Hamilton

5. "Neutral Territory": The Politics of Settlement Work in San Francisco, 1894<EN>1906    000

      Ann Marie Wilson

6. "Citizen Bird": California Women and Bird Protection, 1890<EN>1920   000

      Michelle Kleehammer

7. Saving Redwoods: Clubwomen and Conservation, 1900<EN>1924      000

      Cameron Binkley

8. The Civitas of Women's Political Culture: The Twentieth Century Club of Berkeley, 1904<EN>1929      000

      Sandra L. Henderson

9. "We Want the Ballot for Very Different Reasons": Clubwomen, Union Women, and the Internal Politics of the Suffrage Movement, 1896<EN>1911 000

      Susan Englander

10. "Awed by the Women's Clubs": Women Voters and Moral Reform, 1913<EN>1914  000

      Teresa Hurley and Jarrod Harrison

11. "We Are Not Keen about a Minimum Wage": Union Women, Clubwomen, and the Legislated Minimum Wage, 1913<EN>1931    000

      Rebecca J. Mead

12. "No Undue Familiarity": Gender, Vice, and the Campaign to Regulate Dance Halls, 1911<EN>1921      000

      Mark Hopkins

13. "Hearts Brimming with Patriotism": Katherine Edson, Alice Park, and the Politics of War and Peace, 1914<EN>1921

      Eunice Eichelberger

14. Historians, Politics, and California Women        000

      Mary Ann Irwin

Contributors      000

Index 000

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