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History of Women in the West, Volume IV: Emerging Feminism from Revolution to World War / Edition 1

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Overview

In the words of the general editors, A History of Women seeks "to understand women's place in society, their condition, the roles they played and the powers they possessed, their silence, their speech, and their deeds. It is the variety of the representations of women--as gods, Madonnas, witches, and so on--that we hope to capture, in its permanence as well as its many transformations." Informed by the work of seventy-five distinguished historians, this five-volume series sets before us an engaging, panoramic chronicle that extends from antiquity to the present day. The inaugural volume brings women from the margins of ancient history into the fore. The authors' deft analysis offers fresh insight into more than twenty centuries of Greek and Roman history and encompasses a landscape that stretches from the North Sea to the Mediterranean and from the Pillars of Hercules to the banks of the Indus. In the minds of the ancients, the roles for which women were destined were silent ones: motherhood and homemaking, tasks relegated to obscurity by scribes who focused exclusively on the deeds of men. Even the census neglected women; in Rome, only heiresses were counted. But the dearth of information about women in official archives and the near absence of writing by women from this era stand in stark contrast to the astonishing profusion of texts and images created by men that are concerned with women and gender. The number of women's representations is astonishing. The authors draw upon sources ranging from gravestones to floor plans, from stele inscriptions to papyrus rolls, from vase paintings to Greek and Roman literary works, to illustrate how representations of women evolved during this age. They journey into the minds of men--from the Greeks imagining their goddesses to the Church Fathers inventing the figure of the martyred female saint--and bring to light an imaginative history of women and of the relations between the sexes. The authors explore select aspects o

Informed by the work of 75 distinguished historians, this five-volume series sets before us an engaging, panoramic chronicle that extends from antiquity to the present day. Volume One offers fresh insight into more than 20 centuries of Greek and Roman history to illustrate how representations of women evolved during this age. 84 illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Contemporary Sociology
The fourth volume in the ambitious project of the French historians Duby and Perrot to present the history of women from the antiquities till now proves that strong ambitions are worth pursuing. After antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the early modern period, this fourth volume deals with the nineteenth century. The final volume about the twentieth century is already published and with that a true masterpiece is done...This volume is fascinating, mainly because it gives such an extensive and comprehensive overview of the discourses of femininity and gender, and of all the arguments which have been used in relation to these themes in everyday knowledge, public debates, and social policies.
— Trudie Knijn
Washington Times
A History of Women in the West is a collection of thoughtful essays by leading European and American scholars...After so many centuries of confinement, drudgery, anonymity and speculation about whether or not women qualify as human, how fine to come to Volume IV and such bracing chapters as 'Daughters of Liberty and Revolutionary Citizens' and 'Stepping Out!'
— Elizabeth J. Sherman
Literary Review
A History of Women in the West is ambitious in conception and impressive in realization.
— Jessica Mann
Library Journal
This five-volume work addresses the history of women from the ancients to the 1980s. Editors George Duby et al. state that this series of books "is the product of a revolution--an ongoing, far-reaching revolution in the relations between men and women in Western societies." It therefore focuses on the western European experience with some attention to North America and "is intended to be not so much a history of women as a history of the relation between the sexes" because that is "the crux of the problem, the source of women's identity and otherness." Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
A welcome new installment of the acclaimed series (Vol. 4: American Feminism from Revolution to World War , LJ 9/15/93), Volume 5 surveys Western women's history through the 1980s. Again, the focus is not strictly chronological; the work examines the social factors of the 20th century in the context of traditional women's issues. The consequences of Freud and Marx; two world wars; nationalism and fascism; reproductive legislation; the bioethical rights of family members; and the feminist movement have created a century of drastic and not always beneficial change. Conspicuously absent are significant treatments of the contributions of American women to 20th-century feminism, though they are acknowledged in the introduction. That criticism aside, this volume and the entire set are essential for all but the smallest libraries. The contributors and editors deserve accolades.-- Jenny Presnell, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, Ohio
Booknews
The goal is more a history of relations between the sexes rather than a history of women. Translated from the Italian Storia delle Donne in Occidente, v.1: L'Antichita (Gius. Laterza & Figli Spa, Roma- Bari, 1990), this is the first volume of a five-volume work. The western European experience is the primary focus, with some attention given to North America. Many different and contradictory points of view are expressed; as the brief introduction to the English edition points out, the essays have a somewhat different slant from what might have been produced had an Anglo-American team organized the project. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Contemporary Sociology

The fourth volume in the ambitious project of the French historians Duby and Perrot to present the history of women from the antiquities till now proves that strong ambitions are worth pursuing. After antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the early modern period, this fourth volume deals with the nineteenth century. The final volume about the twentieth century is already published and with that a true masterpiece is done...This volume is fascinating, mainly because it gives such an extensive and comprehensive overview of the discourses of femininity and gender, and of all the arguments which have been used in relation to these themes in everyday knowledge, public debates, and social policies.
— Trudie Knijn

Washington Times

A History of Women in the West is a collection of thoughtful essays by leading European and American scholars...After so many centuries of confinement, drudgery, anonymity and speculation about whether or not women qualify as human, how fine to come to Volume IV and such bracing chapters as 'Daughters of Liberty and Revolutionary Citizens' and 'Stepping Out!'
— Elizabeth J. Sherman

Literary Review

A History of Women in the West is ambitious in conception and impressive in realization.
— Jessica Mann

Contemporary Sociology - Trudie Knijn
The fourth volume in the ambitious project of the French historians Duby and Perrot to present the history of women from the antiquities till now proves that strong ambitions are worth pursuing. After antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the early modern period, this fourth volume deals with the nineteenth century. The final volume about the twentieth century is already published and with that a true masterpiece is done...This volume is fascinating, mainly because it gives such an extensive and comprehensive overview of the discourses of femininity and gender, and of all the arguments which have been used in relation to these themes in everyday knowledge, public debates, and social policies.
Washington Times - Elizabeth J. Sherman
A History of Women in the West is a collection of thoughtful essays by leading European and American scholars...After so many centuries of confinement, drudgery, anonymity and speculation about whether or not women qualify as human, how fine to come to Volume IV and such bracing chapters as 'Daughters of Liberty and Revolutionary Citizens' and 'Stepping Out!'
Literary Review - Jessica Mann
A History of Women in the West is ambitious in conception and impressive in realization.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674403666
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 7/21/1998
  • Series: History of Women in the West Series
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 652
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Georges Duby, a member of the Académie Française, is Professor of Medieval History at the Collège de France.

Michelle Perrot is Professor of Contemporary History at the Université de Paris VII.

Geneviève Fraisse is Research Associate in Philosophy, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

Arthur Goldhammer received the French-American Translation Prize in 1990 for his translation of A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution.

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Table of Contents

A New Kind of History
Writing the History of Women
Representations of Women 1
1 Feminine Models of the Ancient World 9
1 What is a Goddess? 11
2 The Sexual Philosophies of Plato and Aristotle 46
3 The Division of the Sexes in Roman Law 83
4 Figures of Women 139
2 Traditional Rituals Women Share 231
5 Marriage in Ancient Greece 233
6 Body Politics in Ancient Rome 296
7 Pandora's Daughters and Rituals in Grecian Cities 338
8 The Religious Roles of Roman Women 377
9 Early Christian Women 409
3 Yesterday and Today 445
10 Creating a Myth of Matriarchy 449
11 Women and Ancient History Today 464
The Woman's Voice 473
Notes 481
Bibliography 543
Contributors 557
Illustration Credits 559
Index 561
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