Women and the Great War: Femininity under Fire in Italy

Hardcover | September 15, 2010

byAllison Scardino Belzer

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Drawing on both wartime discourse about women and the voices of individual women living at the Italian Front, Allison Belzer analyzes how women participated in the Great War and how it affected them.  The Great War transformed women into purveyors and recipients of a new feminine ideal that emphasized their status as national citizens.  Although Italian women did not gain the vote, they did encounter a less empowering form of female citizenship just after the war ended with Mussolini’s Fascism.  Because of the Great War, many women seized the opportunity to participate in a society that continued to recognize them as guardians of the nation. 

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Drawing on both wartime discourse about women and the voices of individual women living at the Italian Front, Allison Belzer analyzes how women participated in the Great War and how it affected them.  The Great War transformed women into purveyors and recipients of a new feminine ideal that emphasized their status as national citizens....

Allison Scardino Belzer is an Assistant Professor of History at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:282 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.69 inPublished:September 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230100406

ISBN - 13:9780230100404

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Table of Contents

Women and War * The Great War * Part I: Femininity at Home * Becoming Italian: Models of Femininity from 1900-1918 * The Other Army:  Women’s Wartime Home Front Opportunities and the Debate over Female Mobilization * Part II: Femininity in the War Zone * When the Home Front is the War Front: Contextualizing Women’s War Stories of the Italian Front * Adventurers: Women Seeking out the Front Lines * Civilians: Women Trapped in the War Zone * Part III: The Postwar Era * Postwar Femininity and the Liberal State: the Donna Nuova * Italian Fascism and the Donna Fascista     

Editorial Reviews

“This excellent study offers extremely valuable insights on gender role changes in Italy between the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century up to the Fascist era. Building upon a strong theoretical framework, the study enriches the field through its inclusion of unpublished women’s diaries and papers from Italian and international archives, and published diaries, journals, literary texts, and short biographies of women writers, offering new perspectives on gender role changes during war that apply to women throughout Europe. Recommended.”—CHOICE