During the Civil War thousands of women came to Washington, DC, to take part in a critical wartime experiment: women’s employment in the rapidly expanding federal government. The women who surged forward to demand jobs helped make the capital a proving ground for changing understandings of gender equality. This Grand Experiment presents a vivid account of female federal employees who sustained the wartime government and challenged women’s exclusion from public life, a story largely absent from the historiography. In this compelling book, Jessica Ziparo carefully teases out the ways female federal employees both conformed to and challenged nineteenth-century gender conventions and how those conventions determined much about women’s working lives. In so doing, This Grand Experiment provides new insight into a critical question of the Civil War era: why did wartime disruptions to gendered order fail to yield enduring changes to...
Book Review| December 01 2019
This Grand Experiment: When Women Entered the Federal Workforce in Civil War–Era Washington, D.C., by Jessica Ziparo
This Grand Experiment: When Women Entered the Federal Workforce in Civil War – Era Washington, D.C.,
University of North Carolina Press,
352pp., $39.95 (cloth); $29.99 (e-book)
Labor (2019) 16 (4): 136–137.
Catherine A. Jones; This Grand Experiment: When Women Entered the Federal Workforce in Civil War–Era Washington, D.C., by Jessica Ziparo. Labor 1 December 2019; 16 (4): 136–137. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-7790467
Download citation file: