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The Bussiness of Being a Woman

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Ida Minerva Tarbell (1857-1944) was a teacher, an author and journalist. She was known as one of the leading "muckrakers" of her day, work known in modern times as "investigative journalism. " She is best-known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company, which was listed number five among the top 100 works of twentieth-century American journalism by the New Ida Minerva Tarbell (1857-1944) was a teacher, an author and journalist. She was known as one of the leading "muckrakers" of her day, work known in modern times as "investigative journalism. " She is best-known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company, which was listed number five among the top 100 works of twentieth-century American journalism by the New York Times in 1999. Ida graduated at the head of her high school class in Titusville, Pennsylvania. After graduating from college, Ida began her career as a science teacher. However, she found her life's work in writing, and changed her vocation after two years, and returned to Pennsylvania, where she began writing for Chataquan. By 1886, she had become the managing editor. In 1891, she moved to Paris. While in France Ida wrote articles for various magazines. She went to work for McClure's Magazine and wrote a popular series on Napoleon Bonaparte. These established her reputation nationally as a leading writer. Her other works include, Father Abraham (1909), The Business of Being a Woman (1912), In Lincoln's Chair (1920) and Boy Scouts' Life of Lincoln (1921).


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Ida Minerva Tarbell (1857-1944) was a teacher, an author and journalist. She was known as one of the leading "muckrakers" of her day, work known in modern times as "investigative journalism. " She is best-known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company, which was listed number five among the top 100 works of twentieth-century American journalism by the New Ida Minerva Tarbell (1857-1944) was a teacher, an author and journalist. She was known as one of the leading "muckrakers" of her day, work known in modern times as "investigative journalism. " She is best-known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company, which was listed number five among the top 100 works of twentieth-century American journalism by the New York Times in 1999. Ida graduated at the head of her high school class in Titusville, Pennsylvania. After graduating from college, Ida began her career as a science teacher. However, she found her life's work in writing, and changed her vocation after two years, and returned to Pennsylvania, where she began writing for Chataquan. By 1886, she had become the managing editor. In 1891, she moved to Paris. While in France Ida wrote articles for various magazines. She went to work for McClure's Magazine and wrote a popular series on Napoleon Bonaparte. These established her reputation nationally as a leading writer. Her other works include, Father Abraham (1909), The Business of Being a Woman (1912), In Lincoln's Chair (1920) and Boy Scouts' Life of Lincoln (1921).

49 review for The Bussiness of Being a Woman

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shiloah

    Great book. Many of the things mentioned in the book still apply to women today. My book is now highlighted and filled with notes. I learned much. :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Moehrchen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. At the beginning, I was quite unsure, whether Tarbell identified as a feminist or not. Looking at her biography (never married, very successful journalist), you could think she were. But in this little book of essays, as she calls it herself, she makes some (for me) uncomprehensible statements, that show her to be if not exactly the opposite but at least not on the side of feminism (which makes me wonder, why this book has such a good rating). I feel like she limits women to their "natural" role At the beginning, I was quite unsure, whether Tarbell identified as a feminist or not. Looking at her biography (never married, very successful journalist), you could think she were. But in this little book of essays, as she calls it herself, she makes some (for me) uncomprehensible statements, that show her to be if not exactly the opposite but at least not on the side of feminism (which makes me wonder, why this book has such a good rating). I feel like she limits women to their "natural" role as mothers and housewives. Here are some of her often conflicting arguments: 1. Women's natural place in society is the home. She tries by numerous arguments to convince the reader, that women are just restless because they do not value their own work enough and do not see the greatness of its posibilities. Women are too concerned with their clothes and looks and should better understand, that they do not need a great circle of aquaintances like men have (because they work). If they do want to engage themselves, they can do so in community work. 2. Women need the same education as men, alas only to be able to educate their children (not in sciences but morals) and to make smart conversation with their husbands. Not because they can work in the same jobs as men. She underlines that women are of weaker stature and therefore belong to the home (which she quite glorifies, confusingly, since she herself was a spinster). 3. Women without children are owing a duty to society to care for the communities' friendless (i.e. without family or help) children. They are building the society by taking care of the new generations. 4. Men can not be expected to take care of household chores or children's upbringing, because they are working. 5. She calls women that do not work themselves parasitical, because they live on the means, their men provide, but then again, women may only work before they get married, since bringing up children, community work and building a home is more important. As parasites they must not be surpirised if their husbands get bored of them. 6. History, according to Tarbell, is full of examples of great women that helped to shape history (especially of the US), therefore it is a lie that women have been tyrannised of subjugated by men for centuries (as an unnamed feminist dared to say). To deny this, is to undermine women's role and mysogynist (that it IS a proven historical fact, she ignores herself and tries to turn tables?). 7. Women are not oppressed or treated less because they are women but because they are weaker and men are stronger. Same as slaves are discriminated against. Feminists should not try to gain more rights for women but work on the improvement of all "men" and the edifying of society. Never in all this does she mention something men do wrong (except once: that in political speeches women do get belittled). Working herself and having no children, I cannot comprehend her argumentation. Was she bitter? There are some good points, I won't deny that, in the fact that women did spent enormous amount on dresses that made them unfit for anything (try moving fast in a hobble skirt) and that women have a right to learn, own and inherit property. Yet I could not enjoy reading this, not only because I am of a different opinion, but because her chain of arguments has holes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    I really struggle to say anything intelligent about this book written by Ida Tarbell and originally published in 1912. It’s not (as I had initially expected) an advice book; it tends to be quite politically pointed in places. It is not a feminist book because it tends to be quite dismissive of “militants and radicals,” was indifferent to suffrage, and in places tends to be quite critical of women as a whole. Nor would a contemporaneous anti-feminist find any comfort in this because it calls for I really struggle to say anything intelligent about this book written by Ida Tarbell and originally published in 1912. It’s not (as I had initially expected) an advice book; it tends to be quite politically pointed in places. It is not a feminist book because it tends to be quite dismissive of “militants and radicals,” was indifferent to suffrage, and in places tends to be quite critical of women as a whole. Nor would a contemporaneous anti-feminist find any comfort in this because it calls for a radical reevaluation of gender roles in society. The shapes of the arguments have changed dramatically since 1912 so I would not be able to say that the book is applicable today, but I’m left with the impression that the “more things change, the more they stay the same.” The value I find in this book is that is a snapshot of an intelligent and politically engaged women who was neither a Suffragette nor a Suffragist but nonetheless wanted a pronounced change in the status of women. The perspectives presented in this book—despite being moderate, reformist, and quite popular at the time—seldom make it into the history books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathi Mckeown

    My recommendation is to read this electronically so that when names of individuals you are not familiar with appear, like Mercy Warren, you can look them up. I liked this book, especially knowing that in 1912 women were still eight years away from having voting rights. Ida Tarbell is an individual I would love to have met and listened to. One of the original muckrakers, she was ahead of her time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    jim copley

    Thought provoking I choose this book after reading about Ida Tarbell in The Bully Pulpit by Doris Goodwin. The subject intrigued me. Some of it is as relevant today as it was in 1912.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janet Richardson

    Before "her time" Most excellent writer and one of many excellent writings. Ida Tarbell is STILL brilliant. She would be, justifiably, horrified at our country's state of affairs.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Abeer Abdullah

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dessire

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joyce Roderick

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shibnim

  12. 4 out of 5

    alison

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susie Peyton

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ghaida

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brittnie

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beverly Watson

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Cox

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

  22. 4 out of 5

    LaDonna

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marchelle Chaney

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anupriya

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Ray

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

  28. 4 out of 5

    Denise

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lady Samantha

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ida Aasebøstøl

  32. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  33. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  35. 5 out of 5

    Yeshe

  36. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

  37. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  38. 4 out of 5

    Kris

  39. 4 out of 5

    Noura Ali

  40. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy

  41. 5 out of 5

    Mel

  42. 5 out of 5

    Camilla

  43. 4 out of 5

    Najwa Noorwali

  44. 4 out of 5

    Mail.junk.2013

  45. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  46. 5 out of 5

    Adnan

  47. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  48. 5 out of 5

    Brenna

  49. 5 out of 5

    Heather Wilson

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