Synopses & Reviews
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.
Lillian Gilbreth: Redefining Domesticity
is a key acquisition for anyone studying womens issues and influences.”
The Midwest Book Review
This well-written, researched and indexed work that explores the reality behind the image of Gilbreths life is an important contribution to womens history. Highly Recommended.”
Praise for the Lives of American Women series
"Finally! The majority of studentsby which I mean womenwill have the opportunity to read biographies of women from our nations past. (Men can read them too, of course!) The Lives of American Women series features an eclectic collection of books, readily accessible to students who will be able to see the contributions of women in many fields over the course of our history. Long overdue, these books will be a valuable resource for teachers, students, and the public at large."
Cokie Roberts, author of Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty
"Just what any professor wants: books that will intrigue, inform, and fascinate students! These short, readable biographies of American womenspecifically designed for classroom usegive instructors an appealing new option to assign to their history students."
Mary Beth Norton, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History, Cornell University
"For educators keen to include women in the American story, but hampered by the lack of thoughtful, concise scholarship, here comes Lives of American Women, embracing Abigail Adamss counsel to Johnremember the ladies. And high time, too!"
Lesley S. Herrmann, Executive Director, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
"These books are, above all, fascinating stories that will engage and inspire readers. They offer a glimpse into the lives of key women in history who either defied tradition or who successfully maneuvered in a mans world to make an impact. The stories of these vital contributors to American history deliver just the right formula for instructors looking to provide a more complicated and nuanced view of history."
Rosanne Lichatin, 2005 Gilder Lehrman Preserve America History Teacher of the Year
"Students both in the general survey course and in specialized offerings like my course on U.S. womens history can get a great understanding of an era from a short biography. Learning a lot about a single but complex character really helps to deepen appreciation of what womens lives were like in the past."
Patricia Cline Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara
"Biographies are, indeed, back. Not only will students read them, biographies provide an easy way to demonstrate particularly important historical themes or ideas. . . . Undergraduate readers will be challenged to think more deeply about what it means to be a woman, citizen, and political actor. . . . I am eager to use this in my undergraduate survey and specialty course."
Jennifer Thigpen, Washington State University, Pullman
"The Lives of American Women authors raise all of the big issues I want my classes to confrontand deftly fold their arguments into riveting narratives that maintain students excitement."
Woody Holton, author of Abigail Adams
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, 18801945
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
SERIES EDITORS FOREWORD
1 Lillie Mollers Victorian World, 18781895
2 College and Adventure
The Sensibilities of a New Woman, 18961904
3 The Gilbreths Brand of Companionate Marriage, 19041908
4 Scientific Management and the Human Element in the Progressive Age, 19091911
5 Dailiness in Providence, 19121916
6 Battles on the Home Front and War Front, 19161918
An Experiment in Science and Domesticity, 19191924
8 The Widow
Sexism and Breadwinning, 19241928
9 Systematizing Womens Operations During the Depression, 19291939
Domesticity on Her Terms
Gilbreth Management Desk Brochure
NOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY