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American Queenmaker

American Queenmaker

How Missy Meloney Brought Women Into Politics

The first biography of Missy Meloney, the most important woman you’ve never heard of

Marie “Missy” Mattingly Meloney was born in 1878, in an America where women couldn’t vote. Yet she recognized the power that women held as consumers and family decision-makers, and persuaded male publishers and politicians to take them seriously. Over the course of her life as a journalist, magazine editor-in-chief, and political advisor, Missy created the idea of the female demographic. After the passage of the 19th Amendment she encouraged candidates to engage with and appeal to women directly. In this role, she advised Presidents from Hoover and Coolidge to FDR. By the time she died in 1943, women were a recognized political force to be reckoned with.

In this groundbreaking biography, historian Julie Des Jardins restores Missy to her rightful place in American history.

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Genre: Nonfiction / History / Women

On Sale: January 21st 2020

Price: $18.99 / $23.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 384

ISBN-13: 9781541645479

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


"Julie Des Jardins brings her considerable skill and insight to a biography of Missy Meloney, a pioneering newspaper editor, an advisor to presidents and policy makers, a friend to Eleanor Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, and a mentor to artists, writers, and scientists throughout the first half of the 20th century. Des Jardins explores the impact of a gender ideology that forced women like Meloney to couch their unprecedented achievements in the male public sphere as feminine sacrifice. In this compelling study, Des Jardins brings Missy Meloney out of the shadows and allows her at last the public acclaim she deserves."—Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History, Emerita, CUNY and editor of the series Lives of American Women

"Missy Meloney was a uniquely powerful woman-and she used that power not to advance her own career (impressive as it was), but to advance the careers of other women and the causes they cared most deeply about. Her fingerprints are all over early 20th century politics, mass media, and popular culture but we are only now seeing them thanks to Julie Des Jardins's intimate and groundbreaking biography."—Susan Ware, author of Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote
"Julie Des Jardins has done a fine job conjuring Missy Meloney as a force of nature and championing a woman who was herself a champion -- especially of strong women. As a journalist, editor, and publicist, Meloney was skilled at diverting attention toward others, yet in American Queenmaker, Des Jardins has placed Meloney at center stage."—Susan Quinn, author of Marie Curie: A Life and Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady
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