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The Secret History of Home Economics

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   12.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/25/2021

The Secret History of Home Economics

How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696605328


The surprising, often fiercely feminist, always fascinating, yet barely known, history of home economics.

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Product Description

The term "home economics" may conjure traumatic memories of lopsided hand-sewn pillows or sunken muffins. But common conception obscures the story of the revolutionary science of better living. The field exploded opportunities for women in the twentieth century by reducing domestic work and providing jobs as professors, engineers, chemists, and businesspeople. And it has something to teach us today.

In the surprising, often fiercely feminist, and always fascinating The Secret History of Home Economics, Danielle Dreilinger traces the field's history from Black colleges to Eleanor Roosevelt to Okinawa, from a Betty Crocker brigade to DIY techies. These women—and they were mostly women—became chemists and marketers, studied nutrition, health, and exercise, tested parachutes, created astronaut food, and took bold steps in childhood development and education.

Home economics followed the currents of American culture even as it shaped them. Dreilinger brings forward the racism within the movement along with the strides taken by women of color who were influential leaders and innovators. She also looks at the personal lives of home economics' women, as they chose to be single, share lives with other women, or try for egalitarian marriages.


“Perry readily embodies the gravitas of Dreilinger’s reclamatory research, deftly spinning inspiring, necessary stories of women's tenacity and resilience.” --Booklist Audio

"A fresh contribution to women’s history and a resurrection of contributions too often overlooked." ― Kirkus Reviews

Author Bio

Danielle Dreilinger is a former New Orleans Times-Picayune education reporter and a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow. She also wrote for the Boston Globe and worked at the Boston NPR station WGBH. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.