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Creating Rosie the Riveter: Class, Gender, and Propaganda during World War II Paperback – August, 1984


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press (August 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870234447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870234446
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #764,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An illuminating study of WWII propaganda directed at women and labor force participation.... Excellent reading for courses in women's studies, communications, and culture.

(Choice)

'How did the strong figure of Rosie the Riveter become transformed into the naive, dependent, childlike, self-abnegating model of femininity is the late forties and 1950s?' Honey's analysis of fiction and advertising in two popular magazines [True Story and Saturday Evening Post] of the period follows the shifting image of women produced in response to advice and actual story ideas from government propaganda agencies, e.g., the Office of War Information. By untangling conflicting themes in these and earlier images, she moves beyond the conspiracy theory often implied in discussions of the 'feminine mystique.' This scholarly study is decidedly readable and concise.

(Library Journal)

Honey's fine study of wartime images of women underscores the importance of systematic research. In addition, her book demonstrates the value of scholarly sensitivity to issues of class as well as gender. The differences Honey finds are striking, her conclusions sobering.

(American Historical Review)

Honey has produced a provocative history. Creating Rosie the Riveter makes one think differently about how advertising and the division of labor can affect the image of women. Rosie the Riveter was created in a short time in a moment of need, but she was dismissed just as quickly, sent off to have babies and find meaning in the world where 'father knows best.' This shift was caused not only by the mass media, but also by the images already present in the American tradition. The strong pioneer woman and the keeper of the hearth have been around for a long time.

(Business History Review)

Honey's well-researched and well-written volume helps to demonstrate that continuity with the past and future, not change, was the dominant theme for women in the 1940s.

(D'Ann Campbell, Minerva)

About the Author

Maureen Honey is professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Birdsall on May 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Honey examines the mechanics of first changing social values that make women working in primarily male jobs socially acceptable and then how the pre-war values are restored at war's end.
The Rosie the Riveter campaign is so interesting because these values, which were first a barrier and then an open invitation for women to work outside the home, were changed over a very short period of time to meet the labor needs of war and then changed back just as overtly. This campaign is an excellent lesson in how social values hardly are cast immutably in stone or are somehow seen as unchangable because of religious, moral, or other social objections.
Honey does an excellent job of describing the mechanics of this campaign. A lesson to anyone arguing that any social group should or should not be barred from any social activity.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Crystal on April 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Honey presents a view of wartime propaganda aimed at getting women into the work force. Her main sources are the saturday evening post when discussing the middle class women who were urged into the workforce and true story when discussing the working class women. She presents an unconvincing argument. Unconvincing? Her sources were mismatched...one being a weekly magazine aimed at all genders, the other a monthly aimed only at women. We really have no way of knowing that true story was only aimed at working class women any more than we know that only lower class individuals watch Jerry Springer. Her samples were completely uneven, her sources from the saturday evening post vastly outnumbering those from true story. She completely ignores women of color. However, having said that, the book is not a "bad book". As a historian in training I have often had to limit myself more than I would like, so perhaps that explains the complete lack of a discussion on race and ethnicity. The first chapter clearly presents a view of the various government organizations that were created to organize and mobilize the propaganda machine, and that alone is worth the price of the book. Her analysis of her sources is decent as well...especially that of true story. The various story synopsis that she presents are amusing, and her conclusions are worth a look. I would not reccomend it as the only source to read on ww2 propaganda, but is a good addition to the scholarship on the subject. And for the layman, don't worry, it's very readable..she does not spout off jargon like other authors. Good for high school and above.
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By E. Haynes on December 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. My daughter used for a project in college for which she received an A for her efforts. Thanks!
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