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Spelman Professor Charissa Threat Pens Book, "Nursing Civil Rights"

October 2015

Charissa ThreatCharissa J. Threat, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, investigates the parallel battles against occupational segregation by African-American women and white men in the U.S. Army in her book, "Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps."

From the Publisher

In Nursing Civil Rights, Charissa J. Threat investigates the parallel battles against occupational segregation by African-American women and white men in the U.S. Army.

Threat's Nursing Civil Rights BookAs Threat reveals, both groups viewed their circumstances with the Army Nurse Corps as a civil rights matter. Each conducted separate integration campaigns to end the discrimination they suffered. Yet their stories defy the narrative that civil rights struggles inevitably arced toward social justice. 

Threat tells how progressive elements in the campaigns did indeed break down barriers in both military and civilian nursing. At the same time, she follows conservative threads to portray how some of the women who succeeded as agents of change became defenders of exclusionary practices when men sought military nursing careers. The ironic result was a struggle that simultaneously confronted and reaffirmed the social hierarchies that nurtured discrimination.

"Particularly strong in the themes of civil rights and gender equality and adds important information on subjects that have been traditionally underrepresented in academic literature. Threat has made a substantial contribution to this important subject and has started a stimulating discussion."--Susan Malka, author of Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second Wave Feminism 

"Nursing Civil Rights skillfully links African American and male nurses’ efforts to integrate the military nursing corps to a broader history of struggles for racial and sexual equality in the early- and mid-twentieth century. This book makes a clear case that social change, wars, and the military are intimately connected."--Kara Dixon Vuic, author of Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War 

"Nursing Civil Rights tells the untold story of how the United States’ Army Nurse Corps, a profoundly conservative institution, came to represent real racial and gendered diversity--still elusive in both our society and in other branches of the armed services. Yet, this well documented and reasoned book does more. It uses the Army Nurse Corps as an example of the complicated intersections of race, gender, Cold War politics, and the quest of some women and men for social justice and equality. Nursing Civil Rights will be invaluable not only for those who want to understand the radicalized and gendered structure of our health care institutions, but also the culture within which we all live and work."--Patricia D'Antonio, author of American Nursing: A History of Knowledge, Authority, and the Meaning of Work

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