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Joan Marie Johnson
Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, IL 60625-4699)
Wealthy Women, Philanthropy, Power, and the Women's Movement in late 19th-20th Century America

This book explores how wealthy women in late 19th-20th century America wielded their money for women to gain access to higher education, suffrage, and reproductive rights and to provide aid to working women. The first collective biography of these women to focus on their ideas about women's rights, it revises feminism's history with a new concept of sisterhood and new insights into the finance and organization of these movements, which explain the timing and extent of their success. These movements were not only led by a lone crusader or altruistic volunteers, and tensions surfaced when suffragists, birth control advocates, and other reformers acknowledged their dependence on funding from wealthy women. The book shows how they exercised power through financial largesse and reconciled such power, traditionally considered male. It explores why women, privileged in race and class, challenged sexism, offering a new approach to the history of the women's movement and philanthropy.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 8/31/2013