Before the Civil War, a new idea of womanhood took shape in America in general and in the Northeast in particular. Women of the propertied classes assumed the mantle of moral guardians of their families and the nation. Laboring women, by contrast, continued to suffer from the oppressions of sex and class. In fact, their very existence troubled their more prosperous sisters, for the impoverished female worker violated dearly held genteel precepts of 'woman's nature' and 'woman's place.' City of Women delves into the misfortunes that New York City's laboring women suffered and the problems that resulted. Looking at how and why a community of women workers came into existence, Christine Stansell analyzes the social conflicts surrounding laboring women and the social pressure these conflicts brought to bear on others. The result is a fascinating journey into economic relations and cultural forms that influenced working women's lives—one that reveals, at last, the female city concealed within America's first great metropolis.
Christine Stansell writes about the social, sexual, and cultural history of American women and gender relations. Her most recent book, American Moderns: Bohemian New York and the Creation of a New Century, follows an influential group of writers, artists, and political radicals from 1890 to 1920. Stansell’s first book, City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860, reveals the central role that working-class women played in the city’s history. She worked in the new field of the history of sexuality, collaborating with Ann Snitow and Sharon Thompson to publish Powers of Desire; The Politics of Sexuality. She has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Anne Twitty is an Associate Professor of History & Chair of the Undergraduate Committee at the University of Mississippi. Broadly defined, Professor Twitty’s research focuses on questions of nineteenth-century American social and cultural history, with a special emphasis on legal and labor history, slavery and freedom, gender and women’s history, and the history of the South and Midwest. She joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in the fall of 2010 after completing her bachelor’s degree in political science at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her master’s and doctoral degrees in history at Princeton University. Her first book, Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1787-1857, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. You can follow her on Twitter: @ProfessorTwitty.