Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, is now a central topic in women’s labor history. Recent works by Nancy MacLean, Serena Mayeri, and Katherine Turk, among others, draw attention to this crucial piece of labor law. The history of Title VII is full of surprises. The amendment that added “sex” to Title VII in 1964, last minute and contested, was a leap into the unknown. No one could foresee its consequences. One result: the law has generated a cascade of complex litigation. Gillian Thomas, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project, turns to the impact of Title VII and to its ramifications for women at work.

Because of Sex explores a sequence of Supreme Court cases that interpret Title VII...

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