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By Jane LaTour
Billie Jean King
Alice Kessler-Harris
Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City
Author, In Pursuit of Equity
Dale McCormick
Photo by
Clarence Elie-Rivera
Pioneering Tennis Pro
Scott Molloy
Praise for Sisters in the Brotherhoods
Betsy Wade
Nancy MacLean
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Author, Irish Titan, Irish Toilers
Plaintiff, Boylan v New York Times
Department of History, Purdue University
Movement
Author, Freedom is Not Enough
"LaTour rips aside the bromides of superficial victories to explore the punishing
ordeals of female pioneers in male dominated industries . . . What makes the
interviews so compelling is the author's own on-the-job experience in a series of blue
collar occupations and academic positions. The camaraderie makes her questions
harder in substance by more sensitive in the asking."


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"Jane LaTour's book.is a great reminder that when we have equal opportunities in
every line of work we thrive. When women change the way work is done, they make
lasting change in the culture of the workplace."
"Sisters in the Brotherhoods is one of the most exciting books that I've read in years.
It is nothing less than a history of the late twentieth century movement of women into
non-traditional jobs as recalled by and through the voices of the women      who
opened the doors. Jane Latour seamlessly  melds the aspirations, experiences, doubts
and achievements of the courageous women who  earned their livings in trades
reserved for men into a persuasive analysis of generational change. Every young
woman should read this resonant and moving book."
In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for  
Economic Citizenship in  Twentieth Century America
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from
Irish Titan, Irish Toilers:  Banigan and Nineteenth Century
New England Labor
"Jane LaTour tells the history of the tradeswomen movement by focusing on events in New York City. She captures the real
lives of tradeswomen through stories that are poignant, raw, and uplifting. It brought back to me the frustration of trying to
engage the Women's Movement in seeing tradeswomen as more than role models for our daughters.  In our sex-segregated
economy tradeswomen are on the front line in the battle for economic justice."
harrowing forms of harassment and
intimidation, the women whose oral histories
form the moving book sought to challenge and
reform the heart of this compelling andsystem.
Reform could be incredibly hard and scary
work; it took one woman fourteen years to
find the courage to speak at her own local. But
they did speak out and by their individual and
collective efforts, they organized women
"In Sisters in the Brotherhoods, Jane LaTour draws on extensive
interviews and oral histories with women who broke into the building
trades in New York City over the last several decades. The interviews
are enormously rich sources, filled with stunning stories of male
resistance, abuse, and hostility toward the integration of women and
equally stirring tales of women's determination to survive this
treatment. Even as they were subjected to various hair-raising and
"This is a bitter tale of courage, told for the first time. In the
words of the women themselves, we hear the
gut-wrenching experiences of pioneers who toughed their
way into apprenticeships and on to strenuous blue-collar
jobs that civil rights laws in the 1970s were designed to
open to them.
"These women, mostly without allies, learned a cruel lesson:
you could fight to cling to the job that would support a
family, but you could not at the same time fight the hostility
of the shop steward, the connivance of the union with the
contractor.
                  ________
   Betsy Wade is the former president of
   Local 3, Newspaper Guild of New York
Nancy Gabin
and sympathetic men and empowered them to fight for their rights. Sisters in the Brotherhoods
illuminates an aspect of women's and labor history that has been understudied and overlooked. In the
women's challenge to existing union arrangements and their own deployment of labor movement
principles and practices to achieve their ends lies a fundamental contradiction of post-World War II
labor history. Jane LaTour's book compels a reassessment and revision of the view of post-World
War II unions as inimical to working women's interests and as vehicles for conservatism rather than
progressive change."
"Sisters in the Brotherhoods profiles the indomitable
women who fought their way into some of the
best-defended male monopolies in the U.S. labor force:
the skilled trades of New York City.
Jane LaTour's engaging oral histories reveal the
diverse routes women traveled to claim these jobs, the
alliances that sustained them, and the strategies they
developed to master their crafts in the face of
employer hostility, co-worker harassment, union
corruption, and a government that all but abandoned
them in the 1980s. Tradeswomen, feminists, labor and
civil rights activists, historians, and social scientists
will all find wisdom and inspiration in these pages."
Nancy MacLean's books :

are available from:
Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of
the American Workplace
The American Women’s Movement, 1945-
2000: A Brief History with Documents
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from
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