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Women and Socialism -  Socialism and Women: Europe Between the World Wars

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Women and Socialism - Socialism and Women

Europe Between the World Wars

Edited by Helmut Gruber and Pamela Graves†

450 pages, 20 illus., bibliog.

ISBN  978-1-57181-151-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (January 1998)

ISBN  978-1-57181-152-3 $39.95/£31.95 Pb Published (March 1999)

eISBN 978-1-78533-006-3 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"Packs in all you wanted to know about the left and women during this fraught period."  · American Historical Review

"This important collection ... provides a great deal of empirical information as well as interesting theoretical reflections. The breadth of the studies is impressive."  · Central European History


Until recently, histories of women tended to be segregated from the larger historical context. This pioneering volume places the role of women within the history of the interwar years, whenboth the women's and socialist movements became prominent, and raises the key question of how power was distributed between the genders in a historical setting. The emblematic title of this volume highlights the fundamental conception of this comparative study of eleven West European countries: that in the interwar decades two great movements gained in strength, converged, diverged, competed, and cooperated. Each of these movements is viewed as acomplex matrix of organized and unorganized participants. However, by far the most provocative questions deal with gender relations. Central to these are definitions of femininity and masculinity in terms of mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion at the workplace, in the home, and in the political arena. The mystique of the "new woman" in the 1920s and the 1930s challenged traditional notions of gender identity and relations, not the least of which was the redefinition of the role of men. The main issue addressed in this volume is not how male socialists "dealt with" the woman question or how women functioned in or outside left-wingparties; it rather centers on illustrating the power distribution between the sexes in specific political and cultural contexts. This rigorously focused and coherent volume, to which some of the best-known scholars in the field have contributed, will no doubt establish itself as the standard reference work for years to come.

Helmut Gruber is Charles S. Baylis Professor of History emeritus, Polytechnic University, New York, and co-editor of International Labor & Working-Class History.

Pamela Graves† was Emeritus of European History at Eastern Michigan University. She taught classes in European women's history, European social and intellectual history, and the history of England. Her publications include Labour Women: Women in British Working-Class Politics, 1918-1939 (Cambridge University Press, 1994)

Contributors: Michelle Perrot, Ida Blom, Ulla Jansz, Denise DeWeerdt, Mary Nash, Renée Frangeur, Hilda Romer Christensen, Adelheid von Saldern, Geoff Eley, Jean-Louis Robert, Atina Grossmann, Pamela Graves, Christine Bard, Mary Gibson, Helmut Gruber, Louise Tilly.

Subject: Gender Studies and Sexuality History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Europe


List of Photo Essays
List of Acronyms

Helmut Gruber & Pamela Graves

1914: Great Feminist Expectations
Michelle Perrot


Atina Grossmann

Chapter 1. "The “New Woman”: Realities and Illusions of Gender Equality in Red Vienna
Helmut Gruber

Chapter 2. Modernization as Challenge: Perceptions and Reactions of German Social Democratic Women
Adelheid von Saldern

Chapter 3. German Communism and New Women: Dilemmas and Contradictions
Atina Grossmann


Pamela Graves

Chapter 4. An Experiment in Women-Centered Socialism: Labour Women in Britain
Pamela Graves 

Chapter 5. Gender and Democratic Socialism in the Netherlands
Ulla Jansz

Chapter 6. Bread and Roses: Pragmatic Women in the Belgium Workers’ Party
Denise De Weerdt


Mary Gibson

Chapter 7. French Women in the Crossfire of Class, Sex, Maternity and Citizenship
Helmut Gruber

Chapter 8. The French Communist Party and Women 1920-1939: From “Feminism” to Familialism
Christine Bard & Jean-Louis Robert

Chapter 9. "Ideals of Redemption”: Socialism and Women on the Left in Spain
Mary Nash

Chapter 10. Women and the Left in the Shadow of Fascism in Interwar Italy
Mary Gibson


Ida Blom 

Chapter 11. Social Democrats and the Woman Question in Sweden: A History of Contradiction
Renée Frangeur

Chapter 12. A Double Responsibility: Women, Men, and Socialism in Norway
Ida Blom

Chapter 13. Socialist Feminists and Feminist Socialists in Denmark 1920-1940
Hilda Romer Christensen


Chapter 14. Women, Citizenship, and Power
Louise A. Tilly

Chapter 15. From Welfare Politics to Welfare States: Women and the Socialist Question
Geoff Eley

List of Contributors

Name Index
Subject Index

Subject Index by Country

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Britain
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Sweden

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