Northern Illinois University Press

Days of Discontent

American Women and Right-Wing Politics, 19331945

June Melby Benowitz

"A must-read for scholars of twentieth-century American politics and women."History

"A remarkable compilation of research and analysis."NWSA Journal

"This book succeeds in assembling a large body of information about heretofore obscure right-wing women activists."Journal of Social History

Holding fast to traditional values in the face of unprecedented economic hardship, nearly a million American women joined right-wing organizations during the Great Depression and World War II. Days of Discontent provides a new perspective for understanding why the far right appealed to these women, whose political self-awareness grew with the tumultuous times.

Influenced by the conventional image of women as mothers and nurturers, many women viewed the right-wing movement as a way to protect and maintain American morality. The radical right leaders, such as Elizabeth Dilling and Grace Wick, held ideas in common with European fascists but based their politics on a uniquely American mixture of nativism, anticommunism, anti-Semitism, and racism. Benowitz's insight into their motivations sheds new light on the interaction between women's daily lives and national politics.

(2002) 240 pp., illus.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-294-7
cloth $44.00

June Melby Benowitz received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas and is the author of the Encyclopedia of American Women and Religion. She currently resides with her husband, Elliot, in Sarasota, Florida.

Table of Contents

1. Mobilizing
2. Elizabeth Dilling, Right-Wing Evangelist
3. Grace Wick, Disillusioned Democrat
4. "This Sphere Is Woman's Home"
5. "It's Up to the Women"
6. Right-Wing Women Leaders
7. Political Action during the War Years
8. "I Enlisted in this Fight for Life"

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-294-7
cloth $44.00