Cover for GORDON: Heroes of Their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence--Boston, 1880-1960. Click for larger image

Heroes of Their Own Lives

The Politics and History of Family Violence--Boston, 1880-1960

In this unflinching history of family violence, the historian Linda Gordon traces policies on child abuse and neglect, wife-beating, and incest from 1880 to 1960. Drawing on hundreds of case records from social agencies devoted to dealing with the problem, Gordon chronicles the changing visibility of family violence as gender, family, and political ideologies shifted.

From the "discovery" of family violence in the 1870s–-when it was first identified as a social, rather than personal, problem–-to the women's and civil rights movements of the twentieth century, Heroes of Their Own Lives illustrates how public perceptions of marriage, poverty, alcoholism, mental illness, and responsibility worked for and against the victims of family violence.

Powerful, moving, and tightly argued, Heroes of Their Own Lives shows family violence to be an indicator of larger social problems. Examining its sources as well as its treatment, Gordon offers both an honest understanding of the problem and an unromantic view of the difficulties in stopping it.


"Feminist scholarship at its best."--New York Times Book Review


Linda Gordon, a professor of history at New York University, is the author of numerous books, including Pitied but Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the History of Welfare, 1890-1935, The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America, and The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction, which received the Bancroft Prize and the Beveridge Prize in 1989.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/45bky7nz9780252070792.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
The Moral Property of Women - Cover
The Moral Property of Women

A History of Birth Control Politics in America

Linda Gordon

The Road to Seneca Falls - Cover
The Road to Seneca Falls

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the First Woman's Rights Convention

Judith Wellman

Southern Single Blessedness - Cover
Southern Single Blessedness

Unmarried Women in the Urban South, 1800-1865

Christine Jacobson Carter

In Tender Consideration - Cover
In Tender Consideration

Women, Families, and the Law in Abraham Lincoln's Illinois

Edited by Daniel W. Stowell

Japanese American Midwives - Cover
Japanese American Midwives

Culture, Community, and Health Politics, 1880-1950

Susan L. Smith

From Charity to Social Work - Cover
From Charity to Social Work

Mary E. Richmond and the Creation of an American Profession

Elizabeth N. Agnew

Reinventing Marriage - Cover
Reinventing Marriage

The Love and Work of Alice Freeman Palmer and George Herbert Palmer

Lori Kenschaft

Domestic Tyranny - Cover
Domestic Tyranny

The Making of American Social Policy against Family Violence from Colonial Times to the Present

Elizabeth Pleck

Widows and Orphans First - Cover
Widows and Orphans First

The Family Economy and Social Welfare Policy, 1880-1939

S. J. Kleinberg

The Making of
The Making of "Mammy Pleasant"

A Black Entrepreneur in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco

Lynn M. Hudson