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Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-1960
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Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-1960

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  77 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
In the popular stereotype of post-World War II America, women abandoned their wartime jobs and contentedly retreated to the home. These mythical women were like the 1950s TV character June Cleaver, white, middle-class, suburban housewives. Not June Cleaver unveils the diversity of postwar women, showing how far women departed form this one-dimensional image.

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Paperback, 424 pages
Published May 26th 1994 by Temple University Press
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Michael
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This volume makes no attempt to provide a comprehensive history. It aims instead to showcase new directions in postwar women's history, to subvert the persistent stereotype of domestic, quiescent, suburban womanhood, and to generate new histories of a complicated era. (p. 11)

Against the mythic image of June Cleaver, Donna Reed, and Harriet Nelson, Meyerowitz offers a more complicated image of women in the 50s. As she attempts to do in her classroom, this collection of essays seeks to help us get
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Beth
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-school
Interesting collection of articles that resituate women's history during the 1950s--recasting the period as a bridge between the 1940s and 1960s rather than the bleak time in between.
Dave
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
In the 1960s, Betty Friedan published "The Feminine Mystique," chronicling how women in the 1940s and 1950s were forced into the role of stay-at-home wife and mother. This is a collection of essays by historians that refutes that stereotype of women in the mid-20th century. There were female factory workers, nurses, students, activists, and other workers in many industries - and yes, housewives (although quite a few of these were active in protesting nuclear weapons and other problems of the day ...more
Jennifer
Apr 03, 2010 rated it liked it
A collection of essays about women in the 50s, put together to counter the mythology of women in the 50s as lily-white suburban housewives. Interesting essays about Beat women, lesbians, Chinese immigrants, unwed mothers--my favorite was probably the one about the group of pacifist activists who fought against mandatory "duck and cover" style nuclear-war drills. It's an interesting rhetorical success story. Some boring ones, but everyone's mileage will vary here.
Count Jared
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Meanders a bit, never really focusing on any specific countercultural movement or figure, but glances paid penetratingly to American pop and political culture across the three decades post-war. Worth reading for a look at how American men and women saw one another, if little else.
Jeanette
Nov 23, 2008 rated it liked it
I only read "The Sexualized Woman: The Lesbian, the Prostitute and the Containment of Sexuality in Postwar America" by Donna Penn.
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