Gourley, Catharine. Good Girl Work: Factories, Sweatshops, and How Women Changed Their Role in the American Workforce. Millbrook, 1999. ISBN 0-7613-0951-9. $23.40. 96 pp. A 5+ NF Reviewed by Marsha D. Broadway From the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, Gourley traces the hardships and advances for girls and women in the American workforce through their letters, diaries, autobiographies, research studies, and historical photographs. Engaging accounts and gripping narrative keep the reader turning the pages and learning much about the courage and determination of young working-class women such as Agnes Nestor, Leonora O’Reilly, Clara Lemlich, and Pauline Newman. The format of Good Girl Work is similar to Murphy’s The Boys War and Rappaport’s American Women: Their Lives in Their Words. Like Rappaport, Gourley recounts the lives of everyday women and points out the heroic and extraordinary. An excellent book to add to the study of industrialization in America and to the shelves of middle and high school libraries.
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