The Great American Housewife by Annegret S. Ogden Book Summary:
In this innovative historical survey, Annegret S. Ogden addresses the need for the modern housewife to adapt to the additional role of wage earner. By examining a variety of diaries, letters, domestic fiction, and household books of the past two centuries, as well as solid statistical and historical data, she seeks not only to uncover the motivations and origins of the typical American housewife, but also to discover an alternative life pattern that has characterized a virtually unrecognized minority of American women. These are the immigrant, black, and frontier women, as well as any other part-time homemakers, who long ago forged the survival tools that are needed by today's majority of working housewives. It is Ogden's contention that an understanding of the historical housewife, as well as her working counterpart, will light the way for those modern American housewives who must adapt their role as both homemaker and wage earner to the shifting complexities of contemporary American life.