Nancy Woloch considers the network of institutions that promoted women-only protective laws, such as the National Consumers' League and the federal Women's Bureau; the global context in which the laws arose; the challenges that proponents faced; the rationales they espoused; the opposition that evolved; the impact of protective laws in ever-changing circumstances; and their dismantling in the wake of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Above all, Woloch examines the constitutional conversation that the laws provoked—the debates that arose in the courts and in the women's movement. Protective laws set precedents that led to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and to current labor law; they also sustained a tradition of gendered law that abridged citizenship and impeded equality for much of the century.
Drawing on decades of scholarship, institutional and legal records, and personal accounts, A Class by Herself sets forth a new narrative about the tensions inherent in women-only protective labor laws and their consequences.
RICHARD J. JENSEN, an emeritus professor of communication at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is the coeditor or coauthor of two previous books published by Texas A&M University Press, both on the rhetoric of CÉsar ChÁvez. Jensen holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University.
JOHN C. HAMMERBACK, a professor at California State University, Hayward, who teaches in the department of mass communication, earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University.
An American Century instructor site provides instructors who adopt the book with high interest features--illustrations, photos, maps, quizzes, an elaboration of key themes in the book, PowerPoint presentations, and lecture launchers on topics including the "Military-Industrial Complex" Speech by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Tet Offensive, and the prospects for a Second American Century. In addition, students have free access to a multimedia primary source archive of materials carefully selected to support the themes of each chapter.