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The Second Line of DefenseAmerican Women and World War I$
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Lynn Dumenil

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631219

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631219.001.0001

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(p.255) Epilogue
The Second Line of Defense

Lynn Dumenil

University of North Carolina Press

The epilogue explores the aftermath of war in the 1920s. Emphasizing the diversity of American women, the epilogue notes the inability of white women to find common cause with black women activists as well as the growing strength of right wing conservative women who challenged reformers and feminists whom they viewed as Bolshevist sympathizers. The Epilogue also explores the continuing debate over the “new woman” as it emerged in the 1920s by examining women in the context of politics, work, and family. The contested new woman offers a clue to the limits to change as a result of World War I. However much some women staked a claim to political, social, and economic equality, they faced deeply rooted ideas about women’s primary role in the home as a talisman of social order. Both continuity and change, with modern and traditional notions of womanhood co-existing uneasily, mark the post-war decade.

Keywords:   black women activists, conservative women, reformers, feminists, traditional notions of womanhood, work, new woman, aftermath of war, the 1920s

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