The St. Louis Woman's Exchange: 130 Years of the Gentle Art of Survival by Jeannette Batz Cooperman
On the surface, the Woman's Exchange of St. Louis is an exquisite gift shop with an adjacent tearoom--beloved, always packed, the chatter light and feminine, the salads and pies perfect. But the volunteers who run the Woman's Exchange have had enough grit to keep the place going through two world wars, a Great Depression, several recessions, the end of fine craftsmanship and the start of a new DIY movement. The "decayed gentlewomen" they set out to help in 1883 are now refugees from Afghanistan, battered wives and mothers of sons paralyzed in Iraq. Sample the radical changes they have made over the years, as well as the institutions they wisely left alone, like the iconic cherry dress that has charmed generations of women and mothers, including Jacqueline Kennedy and Gwyneth Paltrow.
About the Author
Jeannette Batz Cooperman has long been fascinated by the domestic arts--in theory if not in practice. She holds a doctorate in American studies from Saint Louis University, and her dissertation, published as The Broom Closet, focused on domestic ritual in post-feminist literature. Her undergraduate degrees were in philosophy and communication. Currently a staff writer for St. Louis Magazine, she has been accepted into the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and she has won national awards for her narrative journalism and investigative reporting. This is her fifth book.
Published by History Press, 2012. Paperback, 159 pages.