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Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War Hardcover – December 1, 2008

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1597972734 ISBN-10: 1597972738 Edition: First

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Weiss, who has written for such publications as the New York Times and Harper's, chronicles the largely forgotten history of the Woman's Land Army (WLA), a group of women in the United States who left their homes and college dorms in droves to volunteer when American involvement in World War I called young men from the fields to the trenches of Europe. Weiss shows how these "farmerettes" faced an uphill battle, as they were often met with disdain by shorthanded farmers and Washington politicians who did not feel the situation was dire enough to warrant hiring women to do men's work. WLA architects, many of whom earned their stripes in the suffrage movement, developed a blueprint for managing a group anywhere in the United States, and they were able to secure wages—and an eight-hour workday—equal to their male counterparts. The group was disbanded after the war, but the farmerettes helped pave the way for women working during World War II. Weiss effectively chronicles the birth of the WLA movement and the dedicated women behind it. Recommended for both scholarly readers and interested history buffs.—Patti C. McCall, Albany Molecular Research, Inc., NY
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Review

"Elaine Weiss has written an important book on an overlooked subject. Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army in the Great War covers the virtually unknown story of the "farmettes" who joined American's land army to feed the nation during World War I. This engaging account makes not only good reading, but also contributes to our understanding of both women's history and the home front during the war." --Jean Baker, Bennett-Harwood professor of history, Goucher College

Weiss, who has written for such publications as the New York Times and Harper's, chronicles the largely forgotten history of the Woman's Land Army (WLA), a group of women in the United States who left their homes and college dorms in droves to volunteer when American involvement in World War I called young men from the fields to the trenches of Europe. Weiss shows how these "farmerettes" faced an uphill battle, as they were often met with disdain by shorthanded farmers and Washington politicians who did not feel the situation was dire enough to warrant hiring women to do men's work. WLA architects, many of whom earned their stripes in the suffrage movement, developed a blueprint for managing a group anywhere in the United States, and they were able to secure wages--and an eight-hour workday--equal to their male counterparts. The group was disbanded after the war, but the farmerettes helped pave the way for women working during World War II. Weiss effectively chronicles the birth of the WLA movement and the dedicated women behind it. Recommended for both scholarly readers and interested history buffs. --Library Journal, April 1, 2009
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books; First edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597972738
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597972734
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jerry L. Doctrow on February 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Elaine Weiss' book Fruits of Victory tells the story of the woman's land army, which was organized by women to bring in the crops while men were off at war in WWI. With disdain from the government women from the suffrage movement, labor movement, garden clubs, universities and high society raised funds, recruited volunteers and with difficulty convinced farmers to employ tens of thousands of women in the fields for equal pay with men. It is a great tale and remarkable that the same dismissive approach toward women in the early 20th century allowed historians to ignore this whole episode of American history.

Ms. Weiss telling of the tale is done is a very engaging manner focus on many remarkable characters that made the land army a success but also address the social and political mores of the time that the organizers and foot soldiers of the land army had to overcome.

I would hardily recommend the book to any fan of historical novels as well as those interested in women's rights, the social history of the 20th century or WWI.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Constant Reader on February 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War" is a true tour-de-force. Weiss has uncovered an extraordinary organization, completely forgotten by academic historians and everyone else, and brought it to life. It's fascinating to read her sparklingly-written story of how a coalition of women's college faculty, women's club activists, and just-plain self-activated women from all over the country assembled an organization that could put tens of thousands of women to work in the nation's farm fields in the midst of World War I. At the same time, Weiss creates vivid sketches of some truly remarkable people, women like Edith Diehl, one of the finest bookbinders of the 20th century, but also a born-to-lead officer of the Land Army who ran its "West Point" on the Wellesley College campus. I heartily recommend this book to anyone with a shred of interest in American history or sociology or the US role in World War I or women's history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By llcool on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
An excellent, easily readable book that explains how women took things into their own hands to help the country maintain an adequate food supply in time of need while the government sat on its hands. The book provides detailed history in an entertaining style to show how Suffragette leaders of the day turned from their single focus issue,along with activist women college students, to help the country in its time of need. These women mobilized themselves with minimal help from men and with no help from the federal government. The book shows how American women identified a national problem and developed a pragmatic solution while improving their image and self worth. The book should be of interest to American studies, women's studies, and Reagan Conservatives.
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