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Mothers of Conservatism:
Women and the Postwar Right
Michelle M. Nickerson

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"In this timely look at the grassroots origins of modern conservatism, Nickerson explores the political campaigns of anticommunist women in suburban Los Angeles during the 1950s and early 1960s. Her careful reconstruction of the ideological formation of housewife populism moves beyond the conventional wisdom of the backlash narrative by demonstrating the deep roots of family values conservatism and the central role of women in defending local communities against liberal government programs--insights that illuminate our own political moment as well."--Matthew D. Lassiter, author of The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South

"Focusing on conservative women in Los Angeles in the early years of the Cold War, this first-rate book challenges an established literature portraying women in the 1950s as domesticated and isolated in the private sphere of the home. By detailing their political activities, Nickerson persuasively shows how women constituted a vanguard of the conservative movement emerging in the postwar period."--Donald Critchlow, Barry Goldwater Chair of American Institutions, Arizona State University

"Mothers of Conservatism is full of insight, terrific research, and vivid stories. Nickerson's key points and approach are brave and smart, and she shows that the work of certain women in the Cold War period represented an unconventional female activism. Neither crazy nor dupes, but serious activists, these women used the local political sphere to exert considerable influence in building the rise of American conservatism."--Linda Gordon, New York University

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File created: 11/22/2015

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