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Lady Lushes: Gender, Alcoholism, and Medicine in Modern History, by Michelle McClellan

Lady Lushes: Gender, Alcoholism, and Medicine in Modern History, by Michelle McClellan LadyLushes:Gender,Alcoholism,andMedicineinModern History ByMichelleMcClellan (NewBrunswick,NJ:RutgersUniversityPress,2017)(237pages; $39.95paperback) MichelleMcClellanL’ush s Ladies tracesthelongandcomplexhistorythathas unfoldedoverthepast150yearsbetweenwomen,alcohol,theirdoctors,their families, and those concerned with women’s social roles and health. Making strong use of archival materials and popular culture, McClellan shows how “alcoholics” (a term that came into widespread use in the early decades of the twentieth century, replacing the earlier preferred term “inebriate”) came to include women, and how the female drinker complicated conventional narratives about intoxication and gender identity as she transformed from a “fallen angel” in the late nineteenth century into the “lit lady” of the 1950s. AsMcClellaneffectivelyshows,acentury andahalfofwomen drinkinghave transformedthewayAmericansviewalcoholandsocialrelations,illuminating the “deeply gendered boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable use, between medicinal and recreational consumption, and between commercial- ized,publicvenuesandprivate,domesticspace”(p.11). McClellan moves chronologically, from the late nineteenth century into the twenty-first, showing how women’s alcohol use has always posed a prob- lem. Excessive drinking, especially by working-class prostitutes and immi- grants,wasseenasparticularlydebasedinthelate1800s,andanactiontaken only by those who existed outside the bounds of “true” womanhood. Mean- while, middle-class womenmany of whom were on the side of temperance were viewed as morally upright, respectable, and, most of all, sober. As the movementforProhibitiongainedsteam,womenwereseenasprotectorsofthe familyhome,andtheyopposedtheirhusbands’useofthesaloonbecausealco- hol drained financial resources, caused behavioral problems, and ruined the safetyandsecurityofthefamilyrealm.Womenwhoparticipatedinsaloonlife wereseenas contributingtothe problem,andin doingso,further destroying conventionalfamilylife. But http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

Lady Lushes: Gender, Alcoholism, and Medicine in Modern History, by Michelle McClellan

Nursing History Review , Volume 28 (1): 3 – Sep 19, 2019

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2020 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.28.215
Publisher site
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Abstract

LadyLushes:Gender,Alcoholism,andMedicineinModern History ByMichelleMcClellan (NewBrunswick,NJ:RutgersUniversityPress,2017)(237pages; $39.95paperback) MichelleMcClellanL’ush s Ladies tracesthelongandcomplexhistorythathas unfoldedoverthepast150yearsbetweenwomen,alcohol,theirdoctors,their families, and those concerned with women’s social roles and health. Making strong use of archival materials and popular culture, McClellan shows how “alcoholics” (a term that came into widespread use in the early decades of the twentieth century, replacing the earlier preferred term “inebriate”) came to include women, and how the female drinker complicated conventional narratives about intoxication and gender identity as she transformed from a “fallen angel” in the late nineteenth century into the “lit lady” of the 1950s. AsMcClellaneffectivelyshows,acentury andahalfofwomen drinkinghave transformedthewayAmericansviewalcoholandsocialrelations,illuminating the “deeply gendered boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable use, between medicinal and recreational consumption, and between commercial- ized,publicvenuesandprivate,domesticspace”(p.11). McClellan moves chronologically, from the late nineteenth century into the twenty-first, showing how women’s alcohol use has always posed a prob- lem. Excessive drinking, especially by working-class prostitutes and immi- grants,wasseenasparticularlydebasedinthelate1800s,andanactiontaken only by those who existed outside the bounds of “true” womanhood. Mean- while, middle-class womenmany of whom were on the side of temperance were viewed as morally upright, respectable, and, most of all, sober. As the movementforProhibitiongainedsteam,womenwereseenasprotectorsofthe familyhome,andtheyopposedtheirhusbands’useofthesaloonbecausealco- hol drained financial resources, caused behavioral problems, and ruined the safetyandsecurityofthefamilyrealm.Womenwhoparticipatedinsaloonlife wereseenas contributingtothe problem,andin doingso,further destroying conventionalfamilylife. But

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Sep 19, 2019

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