Half Sisters of History: Southern Women and the American Past

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Overview

Long relegated to the margins of historical research, the history of women in the American South has rightfully gained prominence as a distinguished discipline. A comprehensive and much-needed tribute to southern women’s history, Half Sisters of History brings together the most important work in this field over the past twenty years.
This collection of essays by pioneering scholars surveys the roots and development of southern women’s history and examines the roles of white women and women of color across the boundaries of class and social status from the founding of the nation to the present. Authors including Anne Firor Scott, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, and Nell Irwin Painter, among others, analyze women’s participation in prewar slavery, their representation in popular fiction, and their involvement in social movements. In no way restricted to views of the plantation South, other essays examine the role of women during the American Revolution, the social status of Native American women, the involvement of Appalachian women in labor struggles, and the significance of women in the battle for civil rights. Because of their indelible impact on gender relations, issues of class, race, and sexuality figure centrally in these analyses.
Half Sisters of History will be important not only to women’s historians, but also to southern historians and women’s studies scholars. It will prove invaluable to anyone in search of a full understanding of the history of women, the South, or the nation itself.

Contributors. Catherine Clinton, Sara Evans, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Jacqueline Jones, Suzanne D. Lebsock, Nell Irwin Painter, Theda Perdue, Anne Firor Scott, Deborah Gray White

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A collection of essays which surveys the roots and development of southern women's history and examines the roles of white women and women of color across the boundaries of class and social status, from the founding of the nation to the present. Contributions by distinguished scholars range from women's roles during the American Revolution and the social status of Native American women to the involvement of Appalachian women in labor struggles and the significance of women in the battle for civil rights. Lacks an index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822314837
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 9/9/1994
  • Pages: 239

Meet the Author

Catherine Clinton, Fellow at the W. E. B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University, is the author of several books including, Tara Revisited, Divided Houses, The Other Civil War, and The Plantation Mistress.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
Race, Sex, and Self-Evident Truths: The Status of Slave Women during the Era of the American Revolution 18
Southern Indians and the Cult of True Womanhood 36
Female Slaves: Sex Roles and Status in the Antebellum Plantation South 56
Women's Perspective on the Patriarchy in the 1850s 76
Of Lily, Linda Brent, and Freud: A Non-Exceptionalist Approach to Race, Class, and Gender in the Slave South 93
Radical Reconstruction and the Property Rights of Southern Women 110
Bloody Terrain: Freedwomen, Sexuality, and Violence during Reconstruction 136
Scarlett O'Hara: The Southern Lady as New Woman 154
Disorderly Women: Gender and Labor Militancy in the Appalachian South 180
Black Power: Catalyst for Feminism 224
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