Women's Periodicals in the United States: Consumer Magazines

Women's Periodicals in the United States: Consumer Magazines

Women's Periodicals in the United States: Consumer Magazines

Women's Periodicals in the United States: Consumer Magazines


Consumer magazines aimed at women are as diverse as the market they serve. Some meet the interests of particular age groups; while others target particular racial, ethnic, and economic groups. Some have lasted more than a century, some started only during the last decade, and some have ceased publication after only a few issues. This reference book profiles seventy-five consumer magazines published in the United States and read primarily by women.


Consumer women's magazines have mirrored the changing roles, responsibilities, duties, and interests of America's females ever since the early days of the Republic. Literally thousands of magazines have served the reading interests of generations of women in the United States. Chronicling all these magazines in a single volume is an impossible task. Therefore, hard decisions had to be made about the content and direction of this book.

An argument could be made to include only the women's magazines that are currently published. But this ignores the rich, long history of women's magazines in the United States and their many contributions to the country's social, literary, and artistic history. Instead, the editors attempted to capture a hint of the rich history of women's magazines by providing profiles of some of the most profitable--and most provocative--periodicals that have long since died. These ranged from the relatively short-lived Gentleman and Lady's Town and Country Magazine to a number of magazines launched during the Jacksonian period that helped foster American literature. The profiles of periodicals of the Gilded Age chronicle the role these magazines played in supporting American literature and art.

This volume attempts to reach beyond New York City publishing to offer the geographic variety of women's magazines. Although the Northeast and especially New York City dominated in nineteenth-century and early twentieth- century publishing, many magazines in the South, Midwest, and West offered many important perspectives. Accordingly, this volume provides profiles of magazines--both historical and contemporary--from across the country.

The largest number of the magazine profiles are currently published. These periodicals reflect the variety in the field--from covering such traditional "women's" subjects as child care and home decorating to more contemporary concerns such as health and fitness, from highlighting the ethnic and racial diversity in the country to catering to the reading interests of all ages. Some might argue that a few of the titles included are not traditionally defined as . . .

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