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Lillian Gilbreth: Redefining Domesticity (Lives of American Women)


Lillian Gilbreth: Redefining Domesticity (Lives of American Women) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Lillian Gilbreth is a stunning example of female ingenuity in the early twentieth century. At a time when women were standard fixtures in the home and barely accepted in many professions, Gilbreth excelled in both spheres, concurrently winning honors as “Engineer of the Year” and “Mother of the Year.” This accessible, engaging introduction to the life of Lillian Gilbreth examines her pivotal role in establishing the discipline of industrial psychology, her work as an engineer of domestic management and home economics, and her role as mother of twelve children—made famous by the book, and later movie, Cheaper by the Dozen. This book examines the life of an exceptional woman who was able to negotiate the divide between the public and domestic spheres and define it on her terms.

About the Lives of American Women series:

Selected and edited by renowned womens historian Carol Berkin, these brief biographies are designed for use in undergraduate courses. Rather than a comprehensive approach, each biography focuses instead on a particular aspect of a womens life that is emblematic of her time, or which made her a pivotal figure in the era. The emphasis is on a “good read,” featuring accessible writing and compelling narratives, without sacrificing sound scholarship and academic integrity. Primary sources at the end of each biography reveal the subjects perspective in her own words. Study questions and an annotated bibliography support the student reader.


An accessible, engaging examination of Lillian Gilbreth, whose research in efficiency and human factors changed the way factories are run, how domestic tasks are completed, and how consumers are “sold” on a product

About the Author

Julie Des Jardins is professor of history at Baruch College. She has published two books, Women and the Historical Enterprise in America: Gender, Race, and the Politics of Memory, 1880–1945 and The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science.

Series Editor Carol Berkin is a well-known womens historian and the author of many popular and scholarly books, including Civil War Wives. She is Professor of History Emerita at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and is a member of the Society of American Historians.

Table of Contents



1 Lillie Mollers Victorian World, 1878–1895

2 College and Adventure

The Sensibilities of a New Woman, 1896–1904

3 The Gilbreths Brand of Companionate Marriage, 1904–1908

4 Scientific Management and the Human Element in the Progressive Age, 1909–1911

5 Dailiness in Providence, 1912–1916

6 Battles on the Home Front and War Front, 1916–1918

7 Montclair

An Experiment in Science and Domesticity, 1919–1924

8 The Widow

Sexism and Breadwinning, 1924–1928

9 Systematizing Womens Operations During the Depression, 1929–1939


Domesticity on Her Terms

Primary Sources

Gilbreth Management Desk Brochure




Product Details

Des Jardins, Julie
Westview Press
Jardins, Julie Des
General History
US History - 20th Century
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Lives of American Women
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Women
Engineering » Engineering » History
Engineering » Industrial and Control Engineering » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

Lillian Gilbreth: Redefining Domesticity (Lives of American Women) New Trade Paper
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Product details 192 pages Westview Press - English 9780813347639 Reviews:
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An accessible, engaging examination of Lillian Gilbreth, whose research in efficiency and human factors changed the way factories are run, how domestic tasks are completed, and how consumers are “sold” on a product

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