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EXCERPTS FROM REVIEW OF GROSS MISBEHAVIOR AND WICKEDNESS IN JOURNAL HISTORY, VOL.46, ISSUE 4

Gross Misbehavior and Wickedness chronicles the Walkers’ seven-year divorce battle with meticulous research and vivid narration. Elson charts the twists and turns of the Walker divorce to illuminate some of the profound changes in gender and family expectations that occurred during the Progressive Era…A strength of the book is its robust engagement with primary sources…Gross Misbehavior and Wickedness succeeds in immersing the reader in the Walkers’ lives, so that they feel invested in the outcome of their marriage and divorce. Elson persuasively shows that the Walker divorce raised issues that were not solely personal troubles, but ones that revealed profound social changes in early twentieth-century American culture.–Brian Donovan, University of Kansas, author of Respectability on Trial, in History: Reviews of New Books, 46:4, 96-97. For full review, see: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/e49e3b3e54d82f4290d30fc59/files/62b29583-8b0f-4b8b-b1a1-deb87b2b470d/Gross_Misbehavior.pdf

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“Gross Misbehavior and Wickedness is a fascinating true story. Based on excellent archival work and Elson’s precise scholarship, this meticulous contextualizing of divorce from a woman’s point of view in the early twentieth century also has contemporary applications regarding gender relationships. Elson gradually reveals how women’s rights have evolved over the years and why changes in U.S. divorce laws were essential. The narrative has several twists—it reads like a contemporary detective novel—as every legal victory for each side was appealed by the other. This is a moving and captivating book.”
Elizabeth Ettorre, Professor Emerita of Sociology in the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool and author of Autoethnography as Feminist Method: Sensitising the Feminist “I”

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Am I Still a Woman? by Jean Elson
“Elson’s project engages questions at the heart of the relationship between biology and gender… Her book demonstrates that gender identity emerges from a complex relationship between biological markers and cultural expectations of women.”
Feminist Collections
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“[A] must read for anyone considering a hysterectomy, as well as for sexuality professionals who are interested in women’s health issues.”
Contemporary Sexuality
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Am I Still a Woman engages absolutely fundamental questions about body, gender, and identity. The subject matter is certainly important since about half a million women a year have one or another version of an hysterectomy. Lots of women will find this work interesting because it so thoroughly touches on their lives. Others will want to read the book simply because it speaks to how women think about being a woman. Elson has wonderful insight and provides an honest rendering of diverse experiences, interpretations and feelings.”
David Karp, Professor of Sociology, Boston College and author of Speaking of Sadness: Depression Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness and The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope With Mental Illness