An Army of Women: Gender and Politics in Gilded Age Kansas

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Looking at both the private and public lives of women and men in rural and urban Kansas, Michael Lewis Goldberg offers sweeping evidence of the role gender played in influencing Gilded Age politics. In An Army of Women, he analyzes how political activists in the Populist Party and the Woman Movement sought to create a role for women while retaining the support of men. When these activists employed the often slippery symbols of masculinity and femininity, they found that gendered meanings often changed with the shifting political context. Their ideas and assumptions about gender helped determine their ideologies, strategies, the fate of their movements, and their impact on American politics. Goldberg's broad scope and use of both traditional and unusual sources -- including folkways, poems, songs, and novels -- allow readers to understand the movements both as part of a national framework and within the context of the state and local cultures that were their primary concern.