Selected Works

By legitimizing and intensifying bigotry, and insisting that only white Protestants could be “true Americans,” a revived and mainstream Klan in the 1920s left a troubling legacy that demands a reexamination today.
When Irish orphans were placed in Mexican-American homes in Arizona in 1904, Anglos responded by kidnapping them.
How public and private institutions attempted to copy with child abuse and violence against women.
Reproduction control has been controversial in the US for 150 years, and this book explains why.
The life of the great photographer Dorothea Lange
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Books and Articles


The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition

By legitimizing and intensifying bigotry, and insisting that only white Protestants could be “true Americans,” a revived and mainstream Klan in the 1920s left a troubling legacy that demands a reexamination today.

Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women's Movements

The American women's movement has been shrouded in myths, argue three leading scholars in this bold and revisionist history.

Dorothea Lange: Aperture Masters of Photography

"Lange's work defines an era of destitution and drought, and still resonates even now. This is the perfect introduction to one of the world's greatest photojournalists."--Practical Photography, from a review of the original edition.

Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits

Winner of Los Angeles Times prize for best biography
Winner of Bancroft prize for best book in US history
Winner of National Arts Club prize for best arts writing

The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction

Winner of the Bancroft prize for best book in US history
Winner of the Beveridge prize for best book in the history of the Americas

from the reviews: "… emotionally gripping ... " " a good read…. a fine example of "nonfiction narrative" or "narrative nonfiction.” NYTimes

Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women's Liberation Movement, with Rosalyn Baxandall

from the reviews:

"As feisty and exciting as the women's liberation movement itself, Dear Sisters is full of surprises." Linda K. Kerber

"Dear Sisters will be a boon to historians, and a pleasurable, inspiring read for everyone." Howard Zinn

Heroes of Their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence

Winner of Joan Kelly prize for best book in women's history

Responding to the "discovery" of child abuse in the 1870s, child-protection agencies were soon pulled ito cases of wife-beating and sexual abuse as well. Heroes of Their Own Lives tells the story through many actual case histories, and thereby promotes understanding of current family-violence problems.

The Moral Property of Women: The History of Birth Control Politics in America

Every known society has used some form of reproduction control, but in the last 150 years the practice became contested, because it evokes fundamental disagreements about women’s rights and sexual freedom. This book remains the definitive historical explanation of that controversy.
from the reviews:

"Myriad brilliant books and articles on the history of contraception and abortion have appeared ... but none offers as comprehensive ... wide-ranging and invigorating a historical analysis ..." The Historian

"not merely an historical interpretation of the politics of birth control, but a history of sexuality ..." Archives of Sexual Behavior

"... an invaluable resource ...reminds us that women's bodies remain battlefields crossed by the ideological and property relations of the societies in which we live." Science and Society

IMPOUNDED: Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of the Japanese American Internment during World War II, co-authored with Gary Okihiro

In 1942 the US interned 120,000 Japanese Americans. None had been charged with any crime, and approximately 2/3 were US citizens, yet they were imprisoned for the length of the war without hearings. Although the Army hired her, they impounded her photographs, considering them too critical.

from the reviews:

"Lange offers us a careful demonstration of the way prejudice, masked by patriotism, can lead to enormous injustice." Chicago Tribune

" profoundly human as it is heartbreaking ..." Austin Chronicle

"This book is important... for the light it throws on a shameful moment in American history and for the light it throws on Dorothea Lange." Japan Times

"... These photographs are deeply subversive, showing the quiet dignity of individuals and families ..." Columbia Journalism Review

"... offers a crucial insight into the structure of Lange's photographic project ..." Women's Review of Books

"... a testament to the historical and cultural significance of the photographs ... and the insight with which the editors probe their history." Journal of Asian Studies

America's Working Women: A Documentary History, 1600 to the Present

With an expanded focus on women from all racial and ethnic backgrounds and regions, America's Working Women grounds us in the battles women have fought and the ones they are in the process of winning.

Selected Articles

"Socialist feminism: The legacy of the “second wave”
New labor Forum. Vol. 22. No. 3. Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, 2013.

Aid To Dependent Children: The Legal History
Social Welfare History Project 12/​3/​ 2013

“The Port Huron Statement and Prefigurative Politics at 50”
History Workshop Journal, 2012.

The New Deal Was a Good Idea, We Should Try it
History News Network 5/​3/​2009

Dorothea Lange's Oregon Photography: Assumptions Challenged
Oregon Historical Quarterly; Winter 2009, Vol. 110 Issue 4, p570

"The Perils of Innocence, or What’s Wrong with Putting Children First"
Why policies that seem to put children first have so often disadvantaged children.
The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth - Volume 1, Number 3, Fall 2008, pp. 331-350

SHGAPE Distinguished Historian Address: "If the Progressives Were Advising Us Today, Should We Listen?"
The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Apr., 2002), pp.109-121

“Reflections on the Concept of Patriarchy”
with Allen Hunter, Radical History Review #71, spring 1998

"Historical Perspectives on the Underclass,"
in festschrift for Ralph Miliband, ed. Leo Panitch Socialist Register 1995 (London);

"A Genealogy of 'Dependency': Tracing a Keyword of the US Welfare State,"
with Nancy Fraser, Signs, winter 1994

"Contract versus Charity: Why is there no social citizenship in the United States?"
with Nancy Fraser, Socialist Review, vol. 22, 1992, pp. 45-68.

"On Difference,"
an essay on feminist theory, Genders, Spring, 1991.

"Family Violence, Feminism, and Social Control,"
Feminist Studies 12 #3, Fall 1986.

"When Good Girls Become Bad Girls. Incest and Resistance: Patterns of Father-Daughter Incest, 1880-1930,"
Social Problems, 33 #4, April, 1986.