Between 1880 and 1920 many women researched the conditions of social and economic life in Western countries, driven by a vision of a society based on welfare and altruism.
Ann Oakley, a leading sociologist, undertook extensive research to uncover this previously hidden cast of forgotten characters. She uses the women's stories to bring together the histories of social reform, social science, welfare and pacifism.
Her fascinating account reminds us of their powerful vision of a more humane way of living - a vision that remains relevant today.
Ann Oakley is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the UCL Institute of Education. A social researcher for more than 50 years, and author of many academic publications, she is also well known for her biography, autobiography and fiction. Her books include The Sociology of Housework, From Here to Maternity and The Men's Room which was serialised by the BBC in 1991.
Legacies of difficult women: the story of this book; Imagining the good society: from economic facts to utopian fictions; Settlement sociology: discovering social science; Municipal housekeeping: women clean up the cities; Sanitary science: putting the science into housework; 'Peace is too small a word for all this': women peace makers; 'Our cosmic patriotism': diversity and the dangers of nationalism; Deeds, not words: women reformers and healthcare; Dangerous trades: reforming industrial labour; Domestic relations: female attachments, homes, and the trouble with marriage; New deals: women reformers in the 1920s and 1930s; Ways of forgetting: women reformers as missing persons.