Mary Brennan examines conservative women's anti-communist activism in the years immediately after World War II. She describes the Cold War context in which these women functioned and the ways in which women saw communism as a very real danger to domestic security and American families. From writing letters and hosting teas to publishing books and running for political office, they campaigned against communism and, incidentally, discovered the power they had to effect change through activism. Brennan reveals how the willingness of these deeply conservative women to leave the domestic sphere and engage publicly in politics evinces the depth of America's postwar fear of communism. She further argues that these conservative, anti-communist women pushed the boundaries of traditional gender roles and challenged assumptions about women as political players by entering political life to publicly promote their ideals.
Mary Brennan is an associate professor in the Department of History at Texas State University-San Marcos and the author of Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP.