WWU’s Robert Lopresti Publishes ‘When Women Didn’t Count’ through Praeger Publishing

by Lucia Gruber, Office of Communications and Marketing intern
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 9:41am

Western Washington University librarian Robert Lopresti has published a new book, “When Women Didn’t Count,” with Praeger Publishing.

Lopresti’s book examines how federal statistics have been distorting women’s history, and therefore the perception of America. This work is not full of statistics, but rather, offers insights into how the statistics have been used to shape the perspectives of women.

Lopresti, who specializes in government information, became interested in this topic about 10 years-ago when he picked up a copy of the 1920 census and found a section titled “Occupations Peculiar to Women.” The text assumed that each time census-takers had reported a woman in a job they considered unusual, the editors assumed it was a mistake and changed it.

“I realized that this was a subject that needed more looking into, and when I began my research I found more examples,” said Lopresti.

Inside, readers will learn why department store owners hired ex-prostitutes as managers, and how people used to think farm life drove women insane.

“The target audience is a college student who is writing a term paper on a topic related to gender studies, politics, American history or even statistics,” said Lopresti. “However, I did try to write it in such a way that anyone can pick it up and find something interesting.”

“When Women Didn’t Count” was published in June and is available on Amazon.

He will read from his book at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Village Books in Fairhaven. There will be a quiz with prizes, and snacks made with old government recipes.

Lopresti has been a librarian at Western for 30 years. He recently published “Greenfellas,” a comic novel about a New Jersey mobster fighting against climate change.

For more information about his new book, contact Robert Lopresti at (360) 650-3342 or rob.lopresti@wwu.edu