Historian to Give Talk on Women

Historian Elisabeth Israels Perry will give a talk titled "From One Woman to Women's History: An Historian's Journey," beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the OVC Room at Tennessee Technological University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

From 1993 to earlier this year, Perry directed the master's program in women's history at Sarah Lawrence College. She was a Vanderbilt University faculty member from 1984 to 1993, and has recently moved back to the Nashville area. In addition to being the author of several textbooks, Perry also penned the 1987 "Feminine Politics and the Exercise of Power in the Age of Alfred E. Smith" (Oxford University Press), an examination of Belle Moskowitz, who served as campaign manager for Alfred Smith's unsuccessful presidential bid in 1928.

"Elisabeth Perry's book on Belle Moskowitz and her new textbook show how the full story of American history must include a variety of perspectives and the experiences of many kinds of people," said Kriste Lindenmeyer, associate professor of history at Tennessee Tech.

"Look at Belle Moskowitz, for example. Smith was a Roman Catholic, the son of Irish immigrants, an opponent of prohibition, and a career Democrat from New York's Lower East Side," said Lindenmeyer. "Isn't it interesting that a Jewish-American woman managed his campaign from behind the scenes as he ran against Herbert Hoover, a native-born Protestant Republican from the Midwest -- and later California -- who supported prohibition, and had never before won an elected office?

Perry is also the author of "The Challenge of Feminist Biography: Writing the Lives of Modern American Women" (University of Illinois Press, 1992). Her visit is co-sponsored by Tennessee Tech's Women and Gender Studies program, the University's chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Women's Center.