Prof. Nancy Woloch's new book, "A Class By Herself: Protective Laws For Women Workers, 1890s-1990s"

Nancy Woloch, Adjunct Professor of History, has just published A CLASS BY HERSELF: PROTECTIVE LAWS FOR WOMEN WORKERS, 1890S – 1990S (Princeton University Press). The book is praised by historian Kathryn Kish Sklar as “A monumental contribution to the history of gendered labor law” and by historian Alice Kessler-Harris as “a sterling account of one of the great issues in American women’s history.” Nancy has taught US women’s history and history of education at Barnard since the late 1980s. Her books include Women and the American Experience (5th ed., 2011) and Muller v. Oregon: A Brief History with Documents (1996).


“A monumental contribution to the history of gendered labor law, Woloch’s clear and authoritative guide to this complex topic provides a solid foundation for future scholars. Its commanding perspective offers effective summaries, astute interpretations, and thoughtful connections across a century of social, economic, and political change. This is a book of enduring value to historians, legal scholars, and everyone interested in fairness in the workplace.” Kathryn Kish Sklar, author of Florence Kelley and the Nation’s Work

“Rarely are we fortunate enough to get such a careful and nuanced exploration of such an important subject. Woloch moves well beyond polemics to help us genuinely understand the complexities of issue that remain in a class by themselves in terms of their significance in American legal and political history. Woloch’s chronological reach is especially impressive, ultimately helping us to understand the many different conceptions of ‘progressive’ politics that have enlivened modern America.” –Robert D. Johnston, author of The Radical Middle Class

“How did women move from the border of belonging to the center of the struggle for equality? Many historians have tackled pieces of the story, but nobody has traced the history of single-sex protective legislation from its conception to its disintegration until now. Well-researched, elegantly composed, and persuasive, A Class by Herself is a sterling account of one of the great issues in American women’s history.” –Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University


A Class by Herself:
Protective Laws for Women Workers, 1890s–1990s