Monthly Archives: March 2016

More Fascinating Women

Women’s History Month specials continue with more stories of extraordinary women who carved out lives in restrictive circumstances. Use code WHM16 on our website or call 800-621-2736 to take advantage of these savings.

Sophia Peabody Hawthorne by Patricia Dunlavy Valenti: both volumes for $50.00 (regularly $39.95 each)
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With the publication of both volumes of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, the famous artist and writer emerges forever from the shadow cast by her husband, Nathaniel Hawthorne. An independent, talented, and resourceful woman, Sophia was a successful artist before her marriage and what she bValenti_SPH_Vol2_FNLrought to their union inspired Nathaniel’s imagination beyond the limits of his previously confined existence. In these two volumes, Valenti situates the story of Sophia’s life within its own historical, philosophical, and cultural background, as well as within the context of her marriage. An engrossing story of a nineteenth-century American life, it analyzes influences upon authorship and questions the boundaries of intellectual property in the domestic sphere. It also offers fresh interpretations of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fiction, examining it through the lens of Sophia’s vibrant personality and diverse interests.

The Essence of Liberty: Free Black Women During the Slave Era by Wilma King: paperback for $19.95 (regularly $30.00)

king essenceBlending social, political, and economic history, Wilma King analyzes black women’s experience in both the North and the South, from the colonial period through emancipation. Drawing on a wealth of untapped primary sources—legal documents and newspapers, diaries and letters, and autobiographical writings of free women—King opens a window on the world of black women. She examines how they became free, educated themselves, found jobs, and developed social consciousness, including participating in the abolitionist movement. Throughout this engaging history, King underscores the pernicious constraints that racism placed on the lives of free blacks in spite of the fact that they were not enslaved, revealing that the essence of freedom is more complex than the mere absence of shackles.

Now available in paperback and only $19.95, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane: Authorship, Place, Time, and Culture by John E. Miller
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The mother-daughter partnership that produced the Little House books has fascinated scholars and readers alike. Here, John E. Miller combines analyses of both women to explore this collaboration and shows how their books reflect each author’s distinctive views of place, time, and culture. Along the way, he addresses the two most controversial issues for Wilder/Lane aficionados: how much did Lane contribute to the writing of the Little House books, and what was Wilder’s real attitude toward American Indians. These nine thoughtful essays expand the critical discussion on Wilder and Lane beyond the Little House stories, revealing Wilder and Lane to be impassioned and dedicated writers who were deeply involved in the historical changes and political challenges of their times.

Also out in paperback is Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune by Mary Jo Ignoffo, $24.95
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In the first full-length biography of Sarah Winchester, author and historian Mary Jo Ignoffo unearths the truth about this notorious eccentric, revealing that she was not a maddened spiritualist driven by remorse but an intelligent, articulate woman who sought to protect her private life amid the chaos of her public existence. The author takes readers through Winchester’s several homes, explores her private life, and, by excerpting from personal correspondence, gives the heiress a voice for the first time since her death. Ignoffo’s research reveals that Winchester’s true financial priority was not dissipating her fortune on the mansion in San José but investing it for a philanthropic legacy.

Women’s History Month $20 Book Special

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the University of Missouri Press is offering ten fascinating and unusual stories of women for a mere $20 each: that’s more than 50% off some titles! Use code WHM16 at our website or call 800-621-2736

Insane Sisters: Or, the Price Paid for Challenging a Company Town by Gregg Andrews (hardcover, regularly $50.00) is the extraordinaryandrews2 tale of two sisters, Mary Alice Heinbach and Euphemia B. Koller, and their seventeen-year property dispute against the nation’s leading cement corporation, the Atlas Portland Cement Company. The book traces the dire consequences the sisters suffered and provides a fascinating look at how the intersection of gender, class, and law shaped the history and politics of Ilasco, Missouri. It also sheds new light on the consolidation of corporate capitalism and the use of guardianship and insanity to punish unconventional women in the early twentieth century. andrews.ss11

Also by Gregg Andrews is Thyra J. Edwards: Black Activist in the Global Freedom Struggle (hardcover, regularly $40.00). Edwards was a journalist, social worker, labor organizer, women’s rights advocate, and civil rights activist—an undeniably important figure in the social struggles of the first half of the twentieth century. Andrews used Edwards’s official FBI file—along with her personal papers, published articles, and civil rights manuscript collections—to present a complete portrait of this noteworthy activist.

scheer jktGovernor Lady: The Life and Times of Nellie Tayloe Ross by Teva J. Scheer (hardcover, regularly $34.95)   Just four years after American women won the vote in 1920, Nellie Tayloe Ross was elected governor of Wyoming. She later went on to be nominated for U.S. vice president, was named vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and became the first female director of the Mint in 1932. Ross launched her career when her husband, William Bradford Ross, the preceding governor, died, leaving her with four sons and no means of supporting them. Although she claimed her entire life that she had no interest in feminism, she believed in equal opportunity and advancement in merit irrespective of gender—core feminist values.

Madam Chairman by Suzanne O’Dea (hardcover, regularly $35.00)  O'Dea MadamFor much of her career Mary Louise Smith stood alone as a woman in a world of politics run by men. After devoting over two decades of her life to politics, she became the first, and only, woman chairman of the Republican National Committee, handpicked by President Ford. Suzanne O’Dea examines Smith’s rise and fall within the party and analyzes her strategies for gaining the support of Republican Party leaders.

LAASFirst written in 1937 and never before published, Bridging Two Eras: The Autobiography of Emily Newell Blair, 1877-1951 edited by Virginia Jeans Laas (hardcover, regularly $50.00) is the fascinating autobiography of  a remarkable woman who successfully reconciled a productive public life with the traditional roles of housewife and mother. Blair’s life spanned two eras, from the end of the nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth, and during this time, she moved from being a conventional, middle-class, Midwestern wife and mother to an acclaimed author,  feminist, and vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee only two years after women gained the right to vote.

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Hold Dear, As Always: Jette, A German Immigrant Life in Letters edited by Adolf E. Schroeder and Carla Schulz-Geisberg (paperback, regularly $29.95) compiles a rare collection of personal family letters, combined with an autobiographical sketch Jette wrote after the Civil War, illuminating the experience of one immigrant woman in a land that was always foreign to her. Despite the family responsibilities and hardships she faced in Missouri, Jette maintained a lively interest in American political and social life. For almost fifty years in Jefferson City and St. Louis, she observed and offered astute—if sometimes acerbic—commentary on the historic as well as the daily Olsoncoverevents of nineteenth-century life.

Voodoo Priests, Noble Savages, and Ozark Gypsies: The Life of Folklorist Mary Alicia Owen by Greg Olson (hardcover, regularly $30.00)  Drawing on maps, census records, court documents, personal letters and periodicals, and the scholarship of others who have analyzed various components of Owen’s multifaceted career, historian Greg Olson offers the most complete account of her life and work to date. He also offers a critical look at some of the short stories Owen penned, sometimes under the name Julia Scott. This groundbreaking biography shows that Owen was more than just a folklorist—she was a nineteenth-century woman of many contradictions.FORMANEK

The Story of Rose O’Neill: An Autobiography edited by Miriam Formanek-Brunell (hardcover, regularly $35.00) Best known as the creator of the Kewpie doll, these memoirs reveal O’Neill to be a woman who preferred art, activism, and adventure to motherhood and marriage. Featuring photographs from the O’Neill family collection, The Story of Rose O’Neill reveals the ways in which she pushed at the boundaries of her generation’s definitions of gender in an effort to create new liberating forms.

thogmartin and hamilton the gazette girlsThe Gazette Girls of Grundy County: Horse Trading, Hot Lead and High Heels  by Gwen Hamilton Thogmartin and Ardis Hamilton Anderson (hardcover, regularly $40.00) tells the story of the authors’ adventures running a newspaper in a small Midwestern town. Buying the paper had been Gwen’s idea, tossed out half in jest: why not buy a rundown country paper, build it up, and sell it in a couple of years? And so that hot July they set out in Ardis’s 1930 Chevrolet, with their cat and all their worldly possessions, and headed to Spickard, a north-western Missouri town of six hundred. Filled with hilarious stories of small-town life, The Gazette Girls of Grundy County is a remarkable story of two women coming of age in the newspaper business.

More than a Farmer’s Wife: Voices of American Farm Women, 1910-1960  lautersby Amy Mattson Lauters (hardcover, regularly $45.00) spans fifty years of farm life to reveal that many women saw farming as an opportunity to be full partners with their husbands and considered themselves businesswomen central to the success of their farms. Lauters shows that the farm woman was fundamental to the farming industry—the backbone of the family business and the manager of the farm home—as she explores the role of media in the farm woman’s everyday life and the construction of the American farm woman in those publications.