Common Sense and a Little Fire: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965


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Author: Orleck, Annelise
Publication Date: 05/22/1995
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Binding: Paperback
Media: Book


Common Sense and a Little Fire traces the personal and public lives of four immigrant women activists who left a lasting imprint on American politics. Though they have rarely had more than cameo appearances in previous histories, Rose Schneiderman, Fannia Cohn, Clara Lemlich Shavelson, and Pauline Newman played important roles in the emergence of organized labor, the New Deal welfare state, adult education, and the modern women’s movement. All four rose from the garment shop floor to positions of influence in the American labor movement. They devoted their lives to the empowerment of working-class women, but they disagreed frequently and fervently about the best strategy for doing so.