Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century
A major new exploration of the women who revolutionized American and British life.
Amid the growth of globalized trade, mass production, immigration and urban slums that dominated the period from the 1880s to the onset of the First World War, an awakening was taking place among American and British women. Across the Atlantic and across political boundaries—anarchists to liberals, feminists and non-feminists—female pioneers shared a sense that social change was possible, and acted upon that belief. Dreamers of a New Day explores a period, from the belle époque to the roaring twenties, when women overturned social norms and assumptions as they struggled to define themselves as individuals. Forming broad coalitions and movements, they transformed the conditions of their own lives, decades before the intellectuals of the 1960s conceptualized "everyday life" as an arena for radical activity.
Drawing on a wealth of original research, Sheila Rowbotham has written a groundbreaking new history examining how women came to be modern. Challenging existing conceptions of citizenship and culture, from ethical living to consumerism, sexuality to democracy, these dreamers shaped many of the issues that remain at the forefront of twenty-first-century life.