In the process of working on this book, I have accrued debts to a number of people. I first began investigating the topic as a research assistant for a project on labor market segmentation headed by Michael Reich, Richard C. Edwards and David M. Gordon. Their ideas and criticisms helped to launch my study of the feminization of clerical work, which was later to become the subject of my doctoral dissertation at Brandeis University. My thesis advisors, Egon Bittner, George Ross, and Charlotte Weissberg, pushed me to sort out the threads of my argument and provided numerous valuable insights about major and minor points.
Every writer should be fortunate enough to have editors like Bruce Laurie and Milton Cantor. They had not only the patience to slog through my dissertation, but also the generosity to give me page-by-page suggestions about how to revise it. They then took this revised manuscript and went over it with a fine-toothed comb, helping me to improve the style and to sharpen my argument. I am happy to take full responsibility for the basic thesis of this book. To the extent that my ideas emerge with any clarity, however, the credit must be shared by these two editors. I am also indebted to my copy editor, Patrick O’Kane, who did an excellent job of catching my careless mistakes and improving my use of the English language; and to Jim O’Brien, who did the index.
Both Linda Gordon and Allen Hunter have been very generous with their time: helping me to clear up my thinking on substantive points when I found myself confused; giving me healthy doses of moral support; and giving me time by helping to take care of my children. Molly Fontaine ran baby and toddler playgroups that included three of my children over the years. Without the time and peace of mind that this afforded me, I would have had much more difficulty finishing this book.
My most important ally in my efforts to combine parenthood, political activity and academic work has been my husband, Arthur MacEwan. As well as giving me unflagging emotional support, he has helped me with both the content and oganization of the book. While we are both committed to creating a state of affairs where husbands are thanked as frequently as wives on the acknowledgments page, I am very glad that I have a husband whose actions match his beliefs.