Breaking the Wave is the first anthology of original essays by both younger and established scholars that takes a long view of feminist activism by systematically examining the dynamics of movement persistence during moments of reaction and backlash. Ranging from the "civic feminism" of white middle-class organizers and the "womanism" of Harlem consumers in the immediate postwar period, to the utopian feminism of Massachusetts lesbian softball league founders and environmentally minded feminists in the 1970s and 1980s, Breaking the Wave documents a continuity of activism in both national and local organizing that creates a new discussion, and a new paradigm, for twentieth century women's history.
Contributors: Jacqueline L. Castledine, Susan K. Freeman, Julie A. Gallagher, Marcia Gallo, Sally J. Kenney, Rebecca M. Kluchin, Kathleen A. Laughlin, Lanethea Mathews, Catherine E. Rymph, Julia Sandy-Bailey, Jennifer A. Stevens, Janet Weaver, and Leandra Zarnow.
Kathleen A. Laughlin is Professor of History at Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. She is the author of Women's Work and Public Policy: A History of the Women's Bureau, US Department of Labor, 1945-1970. Jacqueline L. Castledine is a core faculty member of the University Without Walls program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she teaches interdisciplinary studies.
Foreword Introduction The Long History of Feminism, Kathleen A. Laughlin Part I Mainstream, Leftist, and Sexual Politics Chapter 1 Civic Feminists: The Politics of the Minnesota Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, 1942-1965 Kathleen A. Laughlin Chapter 2 The Legal Origin of "The Personal Is Political": Bella Abzug and Sexual Politics in Cold War America Leandra Zarnow Chapter 3 "I'm Glad as Heck that You Exist": Feminist Lesbian Organizing in the 1950s Marcia Gallo Part II Women's Global Visions Chapter 4 Exporting Civic Womanhood: Gender and Nation Building Catherine E. Rymph Chapter 5 The National Council of Negro Women, Human Rights, and the Cold War Julie A. Gallagher Chapter 6 From Ladies Aid to NGO: Transformations in Methodist Women's Organizing in Postwar America Lanethea Mathews Part III The Politics of Location Chapter 7 The Consumers Protection Committee: Women's Activism in Postwar Harlem Julia Sandy-Bailey Chapter 8 Pregnant? Need Help? Call Jane: Service as Radical Action in the Abortion Underground in Chicago Rebecca M. Kluchin Chapter 9 Feminizing Portland, Oregon: A History of the League of Women Voters in the Postwar Era, 1950-1975 Jennifer A. Stevens Chapter 10 Barrio Women: Community and Coalition in the Heartland Janet Weaver Part IV Feminist Consciousness and Movement Persistence Chapter 11 "Stop That Rambo Shit. . . This is Feminist Softball": Reconsidering Women's Organizing in the Reagan Era and Beyond Jacqueline L. Castledine and Julia Sandy-Bailey Chapter 12 "It Would Be Stupendous for Us Girls": Campaigning for Women Judges Without Waving Sally J. Kenney Chapter 13 Building Lesbian Studies in the 1970s and 1980s Susan K. Freeman Conclusion Looking Backward, Looking Forward Jacqueline L. Castledine