Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America

Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America

by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall
Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America

Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America

by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall


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Winner of the 2020 PEN America/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography, the 2020 Summersell Prize, a 2020 PROSE Award, and a Plutarch Award finalist

“The word befitting this work is ‘masterpiece.’ ” —Paula J. Giddings, author of Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching

Descendants of a prominent slaveholding family, Elizabeth, Grace, and Katharine Lumpkin were raised in a culture of white supremacy. While Elizabeth remained a lifelong believer, her younger sisters sought their fortunes in the North, reinventing themselves as radical thinkers whose literary works and organizing efforts brought the nation’s attention to issues of region, race, and labor. National Humanities Award–winning historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall follows the divergent paths of the Lumpkin sisters, tracing the wounds and unsung victories of the past. Hall revives a buried tradition of Southern expatriation and progressivism; explores the lost, revolutionary zeal of the early twentieth century; and muses on the fraught ties of sisterhood.

Grounded in decades of research, the family’s private papers, and interviews with Katharine and Grace, Sisters and Rebels unfolds an epic narrative of American history through the lives of three Southern women.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393358568
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 11/24/2020
Pages: 704
Sales rank: 676,867
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Jacquelyn Dowd Hall is the founding director of the Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the coauthor of the prize-winning Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Part 1 Home

Chapter 2 "Southerners of My People's Kind" 13

Chapter 3 "Lest We Forget" 31

Chapter 4 "Contrary Streams of Influence" 68

Part 2 "A New Heaven and a New Earth"

Chapter 5 "The Inner Motion Of Change" 97

Chapter 6 "Far-Thinking … Professional-Minded" Women 122

Chapter 7 "A Clear Show-Down" 148

Chapter 8 "Getting the World's Work Done" 182

Chapter 9 Writing and New York 205

Chapter 10 "Kok-I House" 229

Part 3 A Chosen Exile

Chapter 11 "The Heart of the Struggle" 255

Chapter 12 Culture and the Crisis 279

Chapter 13 Miss Lumpkin and Mrs. Douglas 299

Chapter 14 "Heartbreaking Gaps" 322

Chapter 15 Radical Dreams, Fascist Threats 342

Chapter 16 Sisters and Strangers 363

Part 4 Writing a Way Home

Chapter 17 "At the Threshold of Great Promise" 389

Chapter 18 Wilderness Years 416

Chapter 19 Expatriates Return 444

Chapter 20 Endings 477

Acknowledgments 489

Notes 493

Bibliography of Primary Sources Consulted 607

Illustration Credits 669

Index 671

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