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The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left$
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Landon R. Y. Storrs

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153964

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153964.001.0001

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When the Old Left Was Young … and Went to Washington

When the Old Left Was Young … and Went to Washington

(p.16) Chapter 1 When the Old Left Was Young … and Went to Washington
The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left

Landon R. Y. Storrs

Princeton University Press

This chapter introduces a group of young radicals, male and female, who ascended with surprising rapidity in the Roosevelt administration. Many of the younger group advocated women's sexual emancipation and conducted their personal lives accordingly. Women in the younger cohort were less likely to make “maternalist” arguments that stressed women's innate differences from men, and they identified less exclusively with women-only organizations. These women did not call themselves “left feminists,” but the term usefully distinguishes them from nonfeminist leftists and from the “pure” feminists of the National Woman's Party, whose proposed equal rights amendment antagonized advocates of wage and hour laws for women. However, not all women in government were left feminists. Those who were gained force from the fact that they often knew one another, through shared interests in labor, poverty, housing, public health and health insurance, consumer rights, and international peace—interdependent causes that in their vision had a feminist subtext.

Keywords:   Roosevelt administration, sexual emancipation, women-only organizations, left feminists, nonfeminist leftists, pure feminists, equal rights, National Woman's Party

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