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Old 02-02-2020, 08:49 AM   #46
issybird
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It can take me a while, but I do get around to interesting also-rans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I wanted to nominate Never Done: A History of American Housework by Susan Strasser, but it's not available everywhere.
Spoiler:
Never Done is the first history of American housework. Beginning with a description of household chores of the nineteenth century--cooking at fireplaces and on cast-iron stoves, laundry done with wash boilers and flatirons, endless water hauling and fire tending--Susan Strasser demonstrates how industrialization transformed the nature of women's work. Lightening some tasks and eliminating the need for others, new commercial processes inexorably altered women's daily lives and relationships--with each other and with the people they served.

In this lively and authoritative book, Strasser weaves together the history of material advances and discussions of domestic service, "women's separate sphere" and the impact of advertising, home economics and women's entry into the workforce.

Hailed as pathbreaking when originally published, Never Done remains an eye-opening examination of daily life in the American past.
I'm just finishing this up and it's excellent. Interesting and informative, it was a very good read. While I was aware of the backbreaking nature of housework and even women's demotion from equal partner in a subsistence economy to something rather contemptible, I didn't really see all the aspects of housework in the economy as a whole. Very glad to have read this; a terrific almost-nomination!
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