Considered by some as the most important woman in Dallas in the latter half of the 20th century, Vivian Castleberry was a force for women, nationally and internationally. In shining a light on her career, more becomes known about her fights and her victories. Through this book, historians can better understand that the relationship of the women’s pages to the women’s movement between the 1950s and '70s was more complex than previously explored. Known as the “godmother” of the Dallas women’s movement, Vivian was a trailblazer. Yet, she was also a mother of five daughters at a time when working outside the home was still being challenged, and that was an experience many middle-class women struggled with. Her role in the public sphere meant she often told the stories of others. This book is her story.
Kimberly Wilmot Voss is full professor of journalism at the University of Central Florida.
Chapter 1: An Introduction to the Women’s Pages
Chapter 2: Childhood and College
Chapter 3: Marriage and Children
Chapter 4: Career at the Dallas Times Herald
Chapter 5: Covering the Kennedy Assassination
Chapter 6: Intersection with the Women’s Liberation Movement
Chapter 7: Continued Expansion of Women’s News
Chapter 8: (Not Really) Retirement
About the Author
This biography thoroughly captures telling moments of how women's editor, Vivian Castleberry, elevated her newspaper's women's section to be taken as seriously as the other news pages. But Castleberry's noted endeavors in journalism are not only for journalism scholars to appreciate. The full story of Vivian Castleberry is for anyone who seeks to be wise to the challenges that Castleberry faced — in her career as a female professional, in her personal life as a working wife and mother, and in her community as a beacon of light in her advocacy for women in society. Through her examination of and interactions with Castleberry, Kimberly Wilmot Voss allows the reader to recognize moments that we also might have experienced, feeling empowered ourselves.
This book deepens our understanding of the challenges, complexities and contributions of “women’s news” at newspapers during the nascent years of the Second Wave feminist movement. Voss digs into the life work of award-winning journalist Vivian Castleberry, longtime women’s editor at the Dallas Times Herald, who fought to cover real women’s issues, not just antics of Dallas society’s A-list, and changed the very definition of women’s news.
Dr. Kimberly Voss delivers an engaging and gripping biography of a significant woman in journalism history. Vivian Castleberry's story not only sheds light on her career with the women's pages and the challenges involved with balancing a journalistic career and motherhood, it also highlights the significance of her work to 20th century journalism, women's political advancement, and American history. This book is a must have for journalism and women's historians.
Not only is the book well-researched and rich with history but it captures the voice and personality of an important figure in the history of American journalism. Dr. Voss does a fantastic job of weaving colorful stories and facts together to provide readers with an image of a trailblazing woman and American feminist whose work gave a voice to the voiceless and helped to carve out space for women journalists.
Voss is a tremendous writer as the book is a quick read. The chapters on women’s pages and the Kennedy assassination can easily be pulled out on their own to enhance existing instruction in those units, or the book as a whole can serve as a discussion point of the contributions of women to journalism history.