Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Summer 2011

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Words Worth a Second Look Nonfiction The Pen and the People: English Letter Writers 1660–1800 BY SUSAN E. WHYMAN

(Oxford University Press) Drawing from previously unknown letter collections from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, Susan Whyman explores the expansion of literacy through the dialogues of bridle makers, wheelwrights, and domestic servants. She also links the democratization of letterwriting to the development of the Royal Mail. Susan E. Whyman ’59 has published three books on English social and cultural history. The Pen and the People won the Modern Language Association Prize for Independent Scholars. Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945–1985 EDITED BY KATHLEEN A. LAUGHLIN AND JACQUELINE CASTLEDINE

(Routledge) In this collection of essays, a range of authors explore the weaknesses in the “waves” theory of feminist activism. The pieces point instead to a continuous process of organization by women across

ideological contexts and geographic locations. Authors underscore the dynamism and persistence in organizing by women from Harlem to the American West, and from a lesbian softball game to Marxism. Jacqueline Castledine FP’99 teaches interdisciplinary studies at the University of Massachusetts and is the educational director for the Valley Women’s History Collaborative.

The Illusion of Ignorance: Constructing the American Encounter with Mexico, 1877–1920 BY JANICE LEE JAYES

(University Press of America) This book examines the cultural politics of the American encounter with prerevolutionary Mexico under the Porfirio Diaz administration. Jayes

presents this nineteenthcentury relationship as a precursor for twentieth-century diplomacy and argues that ignorance of other nations’ experiences was a strategy America chose to maintain its vision of itself and the world. Janice Lee Jayes ’84 has taught American studies in the United States and abroad, worked for the Civic Education Project at the University of Latvia, and was a Fulbright teaching scholar in Egypt.

A Promise to All Generations: Stories and Essays about Social Security and Frances Perkins EDITED BY CHRISTOPHER BREISETH AND KRISTIN DOWNEY

(Frances Perkins Center) This collection of essays illustrates 1902 alumna Frances Perkins’s dedication to social justice and improving the lives of ordinary workers. The authors, including US President

Mou n t Ho lyo k e Al u m na e Qua r t e r ly


Summer 2011


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