Regionally distinct yet influenced by national trends, women's progressive culture in Texas offers a valuable opportunity to analyze the evolution of women's voluntary associations, their challenges to southern conventions of race and class, and their quest for social change and political power.
Judith McArthur makes an important and accessible contribution to the study of women's activism by tracing in detail how general concerns of national progressive organizations -- about pure food, prostitution, and education reform -- shaped programs at state and local levels. Southern women differed from their Northern counterparts by devising new approaches to settlement work and taking advantage of World War I to challenge southern gender and racial norms. McArthur offers a unique analysis of how women in Texas succeeded in securing partial voting rights before passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Throughout her study, McArthur provides valuable comparisons between North and South, among various southern states, and between black and white, male and female progressives. This book will be very useful in a wide range of courses on southern or women's history. [via]