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Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure

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Table of Contents

1. Cheap Dresses and Dime Novels: The First Commodities for Working Women 2. Ladies of Labor: Fashion, Fiction, and Working Womens Culture 3. Fashioning Political Subjectivities: The 1909 Shirtwaist Strike and the Rational Girl Striker 4. Ladies and Orphans: Women Invent Themselves as Strikers in 1909 5. Movie-Struck Girls: Motion Pictures and Consumer Subjectivities

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Enstad explores the complex relationship between consumer culture and political activism for late nineteenth- and twentieth-century working women. While consumerism did not make women into radicals, it helped shape their culture and their identities as both workers and political actors.

About the Author

Nan Enstad is assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Enstad's imaginative reading of the goods consumed by working-class women in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century offers a fresh and illuminating perspective on and advances our understanding of the lived experience of work and leisure in the Gilded Age and Progressive era. -- Nancy Gabin American Historical Review Ladies of Labor represents an important contribution to labor, immigration and women's history that is anchored in the broader political economy of culture at the turn of the century. Enstad's skillful, multidisciplinary rendering of working women's lives should help us re-evaluate the ways we teach and write about popular culture and politics in America. American Studies

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