In this richly detailed and imaginatively researched study, Victoria Bynum investigates unruly women in central North Carolina before and during the Civil War. Analyzing the complex and interrelated impact of gender, race, class, and region on the lives of black and white women, she shows how their diverse experiences and behavior reflected and influenced the changing social order and political economy of the state and region. Her work expands our knowledge of black and white women by studying them outside the plantation setting.
Bynum searched local and state court records, public documents, and manuscript collections to locate and document the lives of these otherwise ordinary, obscure women. Some appeared in court as abused, sometimes abusive, wives, as victims and sometimes perpetrators of violent assaults, or as participants in ilicit, interracial relationships. During the Civil War, women freqently were cited for theft, trespassing, or rioting, usually in an effort to gain goods made scarce by war. Some women were charged with harboring evaders or deserters of the Confederacy, an act that reflected their conviction that the Confederacy was destroying them.
These politically powerless unruly women threatened to disrupt the underlying social structure of the Old South, which depended on the services and cooperation of all women. Bynum examines the effects of women's social and sexual behavior on the dominant society and shows the ways in which power flowed between private and public spheres. Whether wives or unmarried, enslaved or free, women were active agents of the society's ordering and dissolution.
Ilene Philipson's biography of Ethel Rosenberg, only the second woman in U.S. history to be executed for treason, is now available in paperback for the first time.
"Contributes to women's history and biography and to radical history, particularly to our understanding of family, gender relations, and feminine identity of women radicals. . . . Ilene Philipson has produced a fascinating book"--Nancy Chodorow
"Tells the story of Ethel . . . from a woman's point of view. . . . Philipson, whose literary style has the clean exactitude of a tracer bullet, has produced a heart-rending masterpiece. If you read only one book a year, make it this one."
--Florence King, Newsday
" Ethel Rosenberg's] stoicism on the witness stand, her unflinching response to the guilty verdict and death sentence, and her seeming indifference to the ordeal of her two children shocked the nation. . . . Concerned with rehabilitating not only Ethel Rosenberg's name, but also her image, the author creates a moving portrait of a human and ordinary woman."--John Patrick Diggins, New York Times Book Review
This is the first comprehensive study of the experiences of women in modern German society. The author examines aspects of change and continuity in the lives of women over the past 200 years and analyses the social differences as well as the common ground shared between women of various classes.
The American West looms large in popular imagination-a place where men were rugged and independent, violent and courageous. In this mythic West all the men were white, and the women were largely absent. The few female actors played supporting roles around the edges of the drama. Molded by the Victorian Cult of True Womanhood, they were passive, dependent, reluctant, and out of place. Men won the West. Women, against their better judgement, followed them to this newly discovered place and tried to re-create the amenities of the urban East.
Or so the myth goes. The Women's West challenges this picture as racist, sexist, and romantic and rejects the customary emphasis of traditional western history on the nineteenth-century frontier, discovered and defined by Anglo men. In its place The Women's West begins the construction of a new western history as complex and varied as the people who lived it.
This collection of twenty-one articles creates a multidimensional portrait of western women. The pioneer women presented here were actors in their own lives, not passive participants in their husbands' ventures. They were hardy seekers who came west, sometimes alone, in search of jobs, freedom, or land to homestead. They were political activists who worked tirelessly to win the right to vote and to hold political office. They adapted in practical ways to their own and their families' economic and personal needs in a new environment.
"ZAMI is a fast-moving chronicle. From the author's vivid childhood memories in Harlem to her coming of age in the late 1950s, the nature of Audre Lorde's work is cyclical. It especially relates the linkage of women who have shaped her . . . Lorde brings into play her craft of lush description and characterization. It keeps unfolding page after page."--Off Our Backs
The New York Times bestselling history of the legendary six wives of Henry VIII--from the acclaimed author of Marie Antoinette.Under Antonia Fraser's intent scrutiny, Catherine of Aragon emerges as a scholar-queen who steadfastly refused to grant a divorce to her royal husband; Anne Boleyn is absolved of everything but a sharp tongue and an inability to produce a male heir; and Catherine Parr is revealed as a religious reformer with the good sense to tack with the treacherous winds of the Tudor court. And we gain fresh understanding of Jane Seymour's circumspect wisdom, the touching dignity of Anna of Cleves, and the youthful naivete that led to Katherine Howard's fatal indiscretions. The Wives of Henry VIII interweaves passion and power, personality and politics, into a superb work of history.
A collection of meditations like polished stones -- painstakingly worded, tough-minded, yet partial to mystery, and peerless when it comes to injecting larger resonances into the natural world. -- Kirkus Reviews
Here, in this compelling assembly of writings, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard explores the world of natural facts and human meanings.
Veering away from the long, meditative studies of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek or Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard explores and celebrates moments of spirituality, dipping into descriptions of encounters with flora and fauna, stars, and more, from Ecuador to Miami.
This is a powerful, moving, at times shocking account of three generations of Chinese women, as compelling as Amy Tan. --Mary Morris. An evocative, often astonishing view of life in a changing China. -- The New York Times