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Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women's Activism, 1890-1940 Hardcover – March 18, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


"Melissa Klapper has made an outstanding contribution to a history that we thought we knew well, of some of the great women's struggles of the early twentieth century —suffrage, peace, and birth control.  However, she has changed that history by focusing on Jewish women's important participation in them. We learn not only of their contribution, but the antisemitism they encountered. Her analysis is nuanced and represents the very best of what women's history does, to understand the complexity of identity as women struggled to become citizens and political actors in the United States. This is a remarkable book."-Riv-Ellen Prell,Professor of American Studies, University of Minnesota

"In this illuminating account of campaigns for social justice, Melissa Klapper takes an important cohort of Jewish women and shows us how Jewishness mattered to their activism as well as how their activism influenced the world they lived in. This book provides the best explanation I have yet encountered for the more recent involvement of Jews in the social movements of the 1960s. It is a wonderful and inspiring read."-Alice Kessler-Harris,author of A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman

"In this lucid and compelling narrative, Klapper captures both the personal dedication of individual women and the broad sweep of Jewish women’s activism. By illuminating the complex activist identities and organizations forged by Jewish women in the early twentieth century, this book requires future scholars of feminism to engage more fully with ethnicity and religion and Jewish historians to incorporate more fully women’s experiences."-Nancy A. Hewitt,author of No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism

"Highly recommended."-R.C. Cottrell,CHOICE

"Klapper...conducted her research across the country, accessing primary sources such as Jewish newspapers, National Council of Jewish Women meeting minutes, letters and diaries.  The result is the stories of many impassioned, educated and influential women who helped shape the early social and political movements."-Melissa Gerr,Baltimore Jewish Times

About the Author

Melissa R. Klapper is a professor of history, Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ.

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