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Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, Large Print Ed
     

Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, Large Print Ed

by Drew Gilpin Faust
 

When Confederate men marched off to battle, southern women struggled with the new responsibilities of directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. Drew Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute

Overview

When Confederate men marched off to battle, southern women struggled with the new responsibilities of directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. Drew Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute crisis, when every part of these women's lives became vexed and uncertain.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Faust has the sensibility that I most admire in a historian: the capacity to enter imaginatively into a world very different from our own and to write about it with understanding and sympathy even when we find that world morally abhorrent."—Gordon S. Wood, The Wall Street Journal

"Faust recreates a society in the depths of social, military, and economic disintegration, and shows its corrosive effect upon the morals and manners of white Southerners who were members of the elite. . . . She has created a remarkable portrait of upper-class Confederate women's wartime experience, and done so with an economy of words and a spirit of engagement that places her work among the finest of recent histories of American women."—Bertram Wyatt-Brown, The New York Review of Books

"A dramatically revealing study of how the war altered these women's identities. . . . I read with unanticipated fascination, spellbound by the gathered voices, their passion and stamina, their gifts of introspection and observation. . . . [Faust looks] directly at the past, with a daughter's hard, steady gaze, and with a daughter's generous heart."—Josephine Humphreys, The New York Times Book Review

"Faust makes a major contribution to both Civil War historiography and women's studies in this outstanding analysis. . . . [A] provocative analysis of a complex subject."—Publishers Weekly

"A wonderfully researched chronicle of a largely unexamined social elite that enriches the fields of Civil War and women's studies. . . . This is a fine, caring social history that also offers surprising insights into the development of the southern American woman's consciousness."—Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807866160
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
02/01/2010
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
326
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.70(d)
Lexile:
1360L (what's this?)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
[A] splendid study of how Southern women defined and redefined themselves.—Christian Science Monitor

Ms. Faust writes well; her interpretations, based on exhaustive research, are both sound and provocative. Mothers of Invention is going to be a popular book for many years to come.—James Robertson, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Drew Faust provides a welcome and stunning contribution to Civil War history. . . . Faust's exhaustive evidence on everyday life and consciousness—religion, courtship, pregnancy, dress styles, and the complex but unraveling protocol of race and gender conventions—make this pathbreaking study a must-read in southern and women's history.—Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Professor of Afro-American Studies, Harvard University

In addition to its rare readability, Faust's effort is full of insights and even wit. Altogether, it is one of the most admirable recent volumes of American social history.—Booklist

This is a seminal revisionist work and a major contribution to the growing literature on gender and the Civil War.—Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Drawing on the diaries, letters, memoirs, and creative works of the South's slaveholding class, Faust adds fresh and provocative insights and nuances to the Southern female experiences. . . . Profoundly stimulating in its ability to impart larger meanings to the daily activities of the female half of the Southern master class in wartime, this book belongs in academic and public library collections in women's, Civil War, and Southern history.—Choice

Drew Gilpin Faust brings alive the voices and feelings of southern slaveholding women as they coped with the escalating changes—and frequent disasters—with which the Civil War transformed their lives. . . . An engaging narrative that demonstrates how fully this devastating war was, in fact, a story of and by women as well as men.—Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, author of Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South

Meet the Author

Drew Gilpin Faust is president of Harvard University. Her books includeSouthern Stories: Slaveholders in Peace and War and The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South.

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