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Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War Paperback – February 8, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0252074967 ISBN-10: 0252074963

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Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War + African American Mosaic: A Documentary History from the Slave Trade to the Twenty-First Century, Volume Two: From 1865 to the Present (v. 2) + A Vietnam War Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (February 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252074963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252074967
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Jensen astutely analyzes the interplay between US women's attempts to attain professional and civic equality and overcome gender-based violence during WWI. . . . She expertly interweaves case studies and gender representations from women activists, popular culture, wartime propaganda, real-life accounts, and a host of other sources. Highly recommended."--Choice

“Not simply a tale about World War I or the women's suffrage movement, but a story of the complicated intersection of gender, citizenship, violence, and war in the early twentieth century.”--H-Minerva

Mobilizing Minerva is a useful analysis that contributes thoughtfully to the history of women, gender, war, and antiviolence activism and joins a growing body of literature that places the suffrage campaign within a much wider context of women’s activism.”--Oregon Historical Quarterly


“Kimberly Jensen’s study of women in the First World War is a valuable contribution to the expanding scholarship on the American social and military history of that conflict.”--Military History

Book Description

American women did more than pursue roles as soldiers, doctors, and nurses during World War I. Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War reveals women’s motivations for fighting for full citizenship rights both on and off the battlefield. The war provided chances for women to participate in the military, but also in other male-dominated career paths.


Intense discussions of rape, methods of protecting women, and proper gender roles abound as Kimberly Jensen draws from rich case studies to show how female thinkers and activists wove wartime choices into long-standing debates about woman suffrage and economic parity. The war created new urgency in these debates, and Jensen forcefully presents the case of women participants and activists: women’s involvement in the obligation of citizens to defend the state validated their right of full female citizenship.

More About the Author

Kimberly Jensen is Professor of History and Gender Studies at Western Oregon University. Her most recent book, Oregon's Doctor to the World: Esther Lovejoy and a Life in Activism will be published in October 2012 by the University of Washington Press.

Jensen is the co-editor, with Erika Kuhlman, of Women and Transnational Activism in Historical Perspective (Dordrect: Republic of Letters, 2010) and Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Rector on April 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
From the 1913 Suffrage Parade in Washington to the struggle for gender equality in the Armed Forces, this book highlights women's efforts to expand civil rights. Unfortunately, this was an era of escalating violence, and as Kimberly Jensen clearly demonstrates, this violence affected women in many ways. Undaunted, they used their collective efforts to shield their vulnerability, heal the wounded, and advance civility. The author shows that during the war, women's service as doctors, nurses, and in the military, advanced their cause of equal citizenship.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne B. Ramsay on May 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so excited to hear about and buy this book. Right on the cover is one of the doctors who served in the American Women's Hospitals Service. You can see the AWH (American Women's Hospitals as it was then called)badge on her hat. As current co-chair of the committee that looks after the American Women's Hospitals Service now, I was delighted to read of the work done by our organization in the First World War. Yes, it still goes on, with small grants to clinics all over the world to help medically under-served peoples and increase their access to health care. Founded in 1917 we are coming up to our 95th birthday.
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