Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, and Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789 / Edition 3

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Little explores the stormy American relationship with the Middle East from World War II through the war in Iraq, focusing particularly on the complex and often inconsistent attitudes and interests that helped put the United States on a collision course with radical Islam early in the new millennium. After documenting the persistence of "orientalist" stereotypes in American popular culture, Little examines oil, Israel, and other aspects of U.S. policy. For this updated third edition, Little covers events through 2007, including a new chapter on the Bush Doctrine, demonstrating that in many important ways, George W. Bush's Middle Eastern policies mark a sharp break with the past.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Finely crafted. . . . Tackles questions that have long engaged feminist historians and other scholars interested in women and the law.


A book that will engage readers for a long time to come.

Law and History Review

An ambitious, well-written, meticulously researched, and tremendously successful book.

Reviews in American History

Women Before the Bar is already indispensable in my women's history courses.

Linda K. Kerber, author of Toward an Intellectual History of Women

One of the most insightful accounts of early American legal culture in years.


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Product Details

Meet the Author

Cornelia Hughes Dayton is associate professor of history at the University of California, Irvine.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 From Godly Rules to Lawyerly Habits: Scenes from the New Haven Courtroom 15
Ch. 2 Toward Marginality: Women and the Litigated Economy 69
Ch. 3 Divorce: The Limits of a Puritan Remedy 105
Ch. 4 Consensual Sex: The Eighteenth-Century Double Standard 157
Ch. 5 Rape: The Problematics of Woman's Word 231
Ch. 6 Slanderous Speech: Gender and the Fall from Social Grace 285
Appendix 1: Divorce Petitions, Connecticut and New Haven Colonies, 1639-1710 329
Appendix 2: Divorce Petitions, Connecticut General Assembly, 1711-1789 334
Bibliography 337
Index 363
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