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 extraordinary 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.
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.
Governor 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) For 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.
First 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.
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 events 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.
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.
The 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 by 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.