Women Journalists and the Municipal Housekeeping Movement 1868-1914

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‘Municipal housekeepers’ were militant women who believed that a woman’s place was in the home, but that the home was larger than just four walls. They believed a woman’s home was her city and that it was the responsibility of women to keep their cities safe and clean. This study traces the beginnings of municipal housekeeping journalism to the early days of the women’s club movement in America and describes its development in newspapers, club publications, general interest magazines and popular women’s magazines. It is the first study to concentrate on the work of women journalists during the movement, explores the different ways women promoted reform activities in newspapers and magazines, and links the work of the earlier women journalists to the 19th century themes of domesticity and municipal housekeeping.


“. . . an important historical study that provides a language and framework for new historical research in this period. . . . Chapters four and five of Gottlieb’s study are especially significant as they cite both newspapers and magazines, respectively, that regularly published this sort of journalism. . . . I can now refer to Gottlieb’s book as the American Ur text of later reportage and New Journalism.” – James M. Boehnlein

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface by Dr. Maurine Beasley
1. Women’s Sphere, Municipal Housekeeping and the Club Movement
2. Domesticity and Municipal Housekeeping Concerns in the Writing of Women Journalists during the 19th Century
3. The Women’s Club Movement in America: Its Growth and its Journalism
4. Municipal Housekeeping Journalism in Newspapers
5. Municipal Housekeeping Journalism in Magazines
6. Conclusion
Notes; Bibliography; Index

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