Something of a successor to Laura Shapiro’s Perfection Salad, a study of the origins of the domestic science movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, The Secret History of Home Economics by journalist Danielle Dreilinger explores ways the field shaped life for women and for all Americans in the following decades.
Paying particular attention to the role of Black colleges in developing the field and providing professional opportunities for women to enter disciplines as varied as chemistry, marketing, medicine, and even space aviation, Dreilinger employs first person accounts and a host of period documents. The personal stories of the women who led the movement reflect ambitions and limitations, making it clear that that no social force is without its flaws.
A rich and surprising look at a topic that is often dismissed as outdated and misguided.
Hardcover. Photo insert.