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Rezension: "By recovering the decades spanning peace and civil rights activism of Popular Front women, Amy Schneidhorst pounds another nail into the coffin of generational conflict as the defining motif of the 1960s. The label, "just a housewife," will never be the same after this thoroughly researched and fascinating local history of Women for Peace and Women Mobilized for Change and racial justice and the ways that black and white working-class women defied the Daley machine, talked with their Vietnamese counterparts, and protested political repression at home and war abroad." - Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Chair, Department of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara "In Building a Just and Secure World, Amy Schneidhorst has written an exciting book on Chicago women's peace and justice activism in the 1960s. Skillfully using archival sources and oral histories, Schneidhorst shows how women in four women's organizations led local campaigns to advance civil rights and oppose nuclear weapons, the Vietnam War, and political repression by the Daley machine. By demonstrating how middle-aged Popular Front women activists, who came of age during the World War II era, influenced a new generation of 1960s women activists and the women's grassroots peace and justice movements that they led, Schneidhorst reveals important links between the Old Left and New Left. This impressive, well-written, and highly recommended book makes significant contributions to the literature on the 1960s, women's studies, social movements, peace history, and Chicago history." - Scott H. Bennett, Professor of History, Georgian Court University, Former President, Peace History Society Amy C. Schneidhorst's important study provides a new and insightful perspective on female activism during one of the most tumultuous eras in American history...As with any intriguing study that covers a broad topical and chronological span, the reader ofBuilding a Just and Secure Worldis inevitably left wanting to know more about the complex, compelling issues, people, and organizations that Schneidhorst discusses in her monograph...One hopes, too, that Schneidhorst's remarkable, extensive oral histories of the female activities whom she profiles will similarly encourage other scholars to do such work, lest the voices of other female activists be lost to the history record forever." - Holly M. Kent, University of Illinois, Springfield -- Journal of Illinois History One of the most valuable aspects of Schneidhorst's work is the many interviews she conducted and previously published oral histories she relied upon to present her case. Some women, like Shirley Lens, Ruth Dear, and Sylvia Kushner, tell stories that make the hair on your head stand up and add drama to the episodes described in the book. Especially moving are the retold experiences of traveling to Europe and Asia to meet with Vietnamese women, the harrowing encounters with police and Red Squad infiltrators, and the heartfelt opinions about the need to achieve peace and justice at home and in the global community. Building a Just and Secure World is a valuable addition to our growing knowledge of the history of local peace activism. -- Harriet Hyman Alonso, The City College of New York Peace & Change Amy Schneidhorst conducts an ambitious study of the activism of Chicago, and Chicago-area, women from the late 1950s through the 1960s...Throughout the book, there are significant insights into both older and younger women's activism in the Chicago chapters in such diverse groups as Women Strike for Peace (the Chicago chapter was known locally as Women for Peace), the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Women Mobilized for Change (WMC), Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and the Chicago Peace Council...In addition to drawing overdue attention to the role of women in the peace movement, her research also shows that Chicago-area women contributed a great deal to civil rights activism there, which then subsequently had repercussions on the national level as well...Schneidhorst indeed makes a cogent argument that the actions of these women were indeed influenced by the culture of the Popular Front and they used the lessons learned in the earlier era to shape the organizations they became a part of in the 1960s...Schneidhorst should be commended for bringing these courageous and democratic women out of the shadows and placing them in their well-deserved place in the foreground of history. She should also be commended for contributing to a better understanding of Chicago history, peace movement history, civil rights history, the history of the roots of second wave feminism, and the history of the United States in general. -- Nathan Brouwer, Rend Lake College The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture
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