Never Done: A History of American Housework and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Never Done : A History of American Housework Paperback – Bargain Price, November 1, 2000


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$257.84 $20.57
Paperback
"Please retry"
$29.37 $8.17
Paperback, Bargain Price, November 1, 2000
$33.20 $21.52

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Special Offers and Product Promotions


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

100 M&T
100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime
Looking for something good to read? Browse our picks for 100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime, brought to you by the Amazon Book Editors.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Owl Books (November 1, 2000)
  • ISBN-10: 0805067744
  • ASIN: B000C4SIEO
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,074,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A work of genius. . . marvelous to read."--Carolyn See, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Lively and provocative. . . a wonderful book. For bringing housework into the light of historical scholarship, Strasser deserves to have her name become a household word."--Jacqueline Jones, author of American Work: Four Centuries of Black and White Labor

"Remarkable, rich and acute"--The New Yorker
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Susan Stasser is the author of Waste and Want and Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Nation. A professor of history at the University of Delaware, she lives near Washington, D.C.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Erika Mitchell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a history of American housework, covering common household tasks, related equipment, and the people called on to do the work. The main topics of the book include food production and processing, food preparation and the evolution of cookstoves, home heating and lighting, the spread of domestic gas and electricity services, water supplies and plumbing, laundry, weaving and sewing, taking in paying boarders, maids, the scientific housekeeping movement and the birth of home economics, childcare, and consumption as an avocation. The book is amply illustrated with black and white reproductions of period paintings, drawings, and advertisements. In addition to a bibliographic note for further study, there is a section of source notes at the end of the book citing original materials, as well as an index.
In reading the acknowledgements of Ruth Schwartz Cowan's book "More Work for Mother," I had noted that Strasser was listed there as an undergraduate research assistant of Cowan's. With that in mind, I expected the thesis of this book to be similar to that of Cowan's, especially given the similar titles. However, whereas Cowan's book claimed in an almost contradictory fashion that American women have had to shoulder more and more housework over the last century due to industrialization, Strasser takes the viewpoint that industrialization gradually wore away at the value of the contribution women could add to their households by doing work around house, leading eventually to the necessity of their taking paid work outside the home. Strasser points out that in the pre-industrial period, both men and women worked the land with the goal of being as self-sufficient as possible, but that both men and women engaged in some activities to bring in outside resources or income.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joel E. Bernstein on November 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
A dry but thorough history of American housework from the Herculean tasks of colonial days to the consumerist present which ties in broader factors of social trends, economics, and technological advances. Through substantial research and appropriate illustrations, the book documents well the massive, though little noted revolution in the management of the American home over the last 200 years.
The author's interest in the history of American housework traces back to a 1968 undergraduate thesis later expanded to a Ph.D. thesis. She has used as sources old cookbooks, etiquette books, woman's magazines, household manuals, catalogs, and studies by government bureaus, etc. An example of her source material is the series of comprehensive 19th century manuals published over four decades, beginning in 1841, by Catharine Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe's sister, which reveal in each subsequent edition essential changes in technique and expectations. Strasser noted that although it was clear that until recently woman's role was 'in the home', it was not clear what that entailed and how it meshed with broader societal and economic trends such as technology, urban growth, new work opportunities outside the home, etc.
The book's 16 chapters each address a major housework category: food availability and obtention; cooking; providing light and heat; the gradual advent of gas and electricity; water and sanitation; washing; making and mending clothing; home income opportunities like boarding, seamstressing, laundering; use of servants; growth of systemization and the home economics movement; child care; informed consumerism; proliferating appliances; fast food; and the environment of today's working mother.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "tamacat35" on February 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I first heard about this book when I attended Evergreen State College. The topic of housework came up as we read "Roll, Jordan Roll" by Eugene Genovese. Some of my classmates wanted to know about housework in its relationship to slavery. And the teacher, Nancy Allen, mentioned that a great book on the subject of housework was "Never Done", by Susan Strasser. Nancy also used the book as a good example of source notes that we might want to learn from in our own course work/research.
Fast forward my life ten or so years. I'm in an English class and reading "O Pioneers!" by Willa Cather. I remember Ms. Strasser's book! So I read it to broaden my understanding of Ms. Cather's novel and of pioneer and womens domestic lives at that time.
I had a romanticised view of life in America; times were simpler and therefore better. Susan's book assisted in effectively yet politely dismissing those flowery notions from my thoughts.
The research required for such a book as this--- clearly labor-intensive, but Ms. Strasser effortlessly writes in a reader-friendly style which doesn't undermine the scholarly nature of this work and its value to Womens Studies.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Thornton VINE VOICE on April 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Great book. Very interesting and intriguing.
I also dreamt life 100 years ago was so much better than today. So simple, so lovely...but Strasser's book blew that theory out of the water.
If you ever wondered what a typical day was like for women and girls at the turn of the last century, you'll love this book.
Well written and extremely interesting.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa1bb77ec)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?