Angels in the Machinery:

Gender in American Party Politics from the Civil War to the Progressive Era

by Rebecca Edwards

Assistant Professor of History
Vassar College

'A stunning entry in the historical scholarship currently revisioning the politics of the Gilded Age from a gendered perspective.... Edwards does not allow political symbols to stand in for the play of politics, nor do images of women displace the political engagement of women themselves.... Fine, original work.'
--Ellen Carol DuBois, UCLA,Journal of American History

'Important because of its implications for women's studies, politics, and numerous reform movements (including women's suffrage), ... a well-written monograph.' --P. F. Field, Ohio University, Choice
Angels in the Machinery offers a sweeping analysis of the importance of gender to American politics from the days of the Whigs to the early twentieth century. Author Rebecca Edwards shows how relations of power within the family have been a fundamental campaign issue for 150 years. As generations of reformers sought to expand the powers of government, conservatives described men's authority in the home as the chief bulwark against government intrusion....

Edwards uncovers women's active and influential participation as Republicans, Democrats, and leaders of movements like Populism and Prohibitionism decades before women won the right to vote.... Using cartoons, speeches, party platforms, news accounts, and campaign memorabilia, Angels in the Machinery offers a compelling explanation of why family values, women's political activities, and even candidates' sex lives remain hot-button issues in politics to this day.
--from the cover

Available from Oxford University Press, 1997
232 pages, illus.
ISBN 0-19-511696-8 (paperback)

From The Ram's Horn, April 4, 1896
Reprinted courtesy The Ohio State University

Ordering information for Angels in the Machinery

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To the homepage of 1896, a website of cartoons and commentary from the McKinley/Bryan presidential campaign