Women, Power, and Dissent in the Hills of Carolina is a unique and impassioned exploration of gender, labor, and resistance in western North Carolina. Based on eight months of field research in a mica manufacturing plant and the surrounding rural community, as well as oral histories of women who worked in mica houses in the early twentieth century, this landmark study canvasses the history of the mica industry and the ways it came to be organized around women's labor.
Mary K. Anglin's investigation of working women's lives in the plant she calls "Moth Hill Mica Company" reveals the ways women have contributed to household and regional economies for more than a century. Without union support or recognition as skilled laborers, these women developed alternate strategies for challenging the poor working conditions, paltry wages, and corporate rhetoric of Moth Hill. Utilizing the power of memory and strong family and community ties, as well as their own interpretations of gender and culture, the women have found ways to "boss themselves."