Wisconsin Historical Society Press
A Milwaukee Woman's Life on the Left: The Autobiography of Meta Berger
By Meta Berger, Edited by Kimberly Swanson, Foreword by Genevieve G. McBride
224 pages, 24 b/w photos and illus., 6 x 9"Buy
In the early 1900s a Milwaukee wife, mother, and schoolteacher traded in her apron and chalk for the turbulent world of political activism. This autobiography tells the story of transformation in the words of the woman who lived it, Meta Schlichting Berger (1873-1944). More than one woman's story, it is a tale that reveals the changes facing a nation during momentous times.
- "A Happy Family"
- No Pie Baker
- "The Board of School Directors"
- "The Successful Election"
- A Socialist in Congress"
- "War Hysteria"
- The Chicago Trial
- "Fighting, Fighting, Fighting"
- "The Philippine Islands"
- Washington, the Beautiful!
- "Hope and Despair"
Winner of the Gambrinus Prize for Best Book on Milwaukee History
Every year since 1954, the Milwaukee County Historical Society has honored individuals, community organizations and business that have worked diligently to preserve and promote local history.
"State Historian Michael E. Stevens, editor of 'The Family Letters of Victor and Meta Berger, 1894-1929,' which the Society Press published in 1995, notes that 'Meta Berger's story is remarkably modern. In her memoir, she tells of her own inner struggles to balance her role as wife and mother with her desire for life in the public arena. ... Meta Berger's reminiscences are noteworthy because she scored so many important firsts for women, not only in Milwaukee and Wisconsin but also nationwide. Such achievements by women pioneering in public office, well before they won the ballot, became persuasive arguments wielded by the woman suffrage movement to win the ballot for all women — a movement in which she was a leader in Wisconsin. Her story serves as a reminder that major political reforms are achieved at the national level only after many obstacles are overcome and many milestones passed at the state and local levels." —From the Foreword by Genevieve G. McBride, member of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Department of Mass Communication and author of "On Wisconsin Women: Working for Their Rights from Settlement to Suffrage," which won the 1994 Wisconsin Historical Society Book of Merit award.