“A 1950′s Housewife: Marriage and Homemaking in the 1950’s” authored by Sheila Hardy
First and foremost, if you are an American Housewife interested in American Culture, dating, and related topics of the 1950’s? Then I’m afraid to say that this book probably won’t entirely be what you are looking for; it’s ultimately useless to the woman looking for education on the culture and customs of that era in our own country.
The book is certainly not completely useless, however- especially if you have a tendency to consume anything and everything about that era regardless of its country of origin. But while it alludes to America’s state in some portions, it was still written about Britain and the UK, and many things were not the same across the ocean.
That being said, I do thoroughly enjoy the fact that this book covers more than just the Housewife herself; tt covers everything– juxtaposing pre war culture against wartime culture, and even post war culture. As a result, the book gives you a miraculously detailed idea of how society was affected by and functioned in all areas of home life which spanned the course of our (or at least my) favorite vintage era.
One of the greatest things about this book, though, is that it was written not by Historians, but by someone who lived through it first hand; the author uses not only her first hand accounts and experiences to illustrate their everyday life, but also includes the stories and experiences of other women who also lived through it as well. This gives you a marvelous peek into the authentic- not speculative or romanticized- life of a 1950′s Housewife in Britain.
The only issue I really had with the book was that I did find it oddly structured. I feel that it jumps around too much from era to era and subject to subject- even within the same chapter. It does this in such a manner that makes it difficult to read and follow along in a true chronological or even historical order. I would have been much happier if the chapters were structured chronologically as opposed to being as flighty as they were. I do believe that this would have helped the readability immensely- as well as better illustrate the prewar, wartime, and postwar differences.
Regardless, it was humorously written and certainly educational and eye opening; even if it is not oriented on American culture, it is still truly a breathtaking historical account for someone interested in the early 1940′s to the mid 1960′s.