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McCracken, Elizabeth.

Women of America, The.


"First Copy"
Inscribed By McCracken To Her Parents
McCracken, Elizabeth. The Women of America. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1904.
8vo.; endpapers offset; hinges tender; green cloth stamped in gilt.    
First edition of McCracken's first book. The unofficial dedication copy, inscribed on the front endpaper to her parents: To my most dear Mother and Father. This first copy of my first book, with much love, Elizabeth. November 27th, 1904 (Advent Sunday) 39 James Street, Arlington, Massachusetts.
McCracken prepared her "investigation…of the ideals and achievements of American women-in the professions, in municipal affairs, in the arts, and, above all, in the home and things pertaining to home-making," at the request of The Outlook Company during six months she spent travelling throughout the United States. In her preface, she explains that her style of reportage favors personal accounts of the experiences of individual women over statistical analysis:
Whenever…it became necessary to choose between an experience, however minute, and a report of that experience, however comprehensive, I almost invariably chose the former. The choice, to be sure, was usually more involuntary than premeditated; a woman appealed to me so much more keenly than did an account of her attainments; a glimpse of her work had for me far more interest than any report of its processes possibly could have.
Statistics and reports, it is true, I did gather in great abundance. But, when finally, my journey, if not my investigation, was quite finished, and I began to write an account of its happenings and discoveries, I found that, not my note-books with their arrays of figures, not the pamphlets and calendars with which my trunk was well-nigh filled, but the memories of the women whom I had met comprised the significant, and the real, results of my travels.
Chapter subjects include The Pioneer Woman of the West, The Southern Woman and Reconstruction, Woman's Suffrage in Colorado, The Woman in her Club, The Woman from the College, The Woman in the Play, The American Woman of Letters, Women and Philanthropy, The School-Teacher, The Mother in the Tenement Homes, The Woman on the Farm, Women in the Professions, and The Social Ideals of American Women.

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