Doing What the Day Brought
An Oral History of Arizona Women
Drawing on interviews with twenty-nine individuals, Doing What the Day Brought examines the everyday lives of women from the late nineteenth century to the present day and demonstrates the role they have played in shaping the modern Arizona community.
Focusing on "ordinary" women, the book crosses race, ethnic, religious, economic, and marital lines to include Arizona women from diverse backgrounds. Rather than simply editing each woman's words, Rothschild and Hronek have analyzed these oral histories for common themes and differences and have woven portions into a narrative that gives context to the individual lives. The resulting life-course format moves naturally from childhood to home life, community service, and participation in the work force, and concludes with reflections on changes witnessed in the lifetimes of these women.
For the women whose lives are presented here, it may have been common to gather dead saguaro cactus ribs to make outdoor fires to boil laundry water, or to give birth on a dirt floor. Their stories capture not only changes in a state where history has overlooked the role of women, but the changing roles of American women over the course of this century.
"A welcome addition to histories of 'grass roots' western women. . . . A richly textured account of women's lives in the desert Southwest."—Journal of American History
"A fascinating record of the ways in which some Arizona women did 'what the day brought'—this is an extraordinary and valuable study."—Western Historical Quarterly
"An excellent supplementary readings source about the lives of pioneer women."—Popular Culture in Libraries