Mothers of Invention

Mothers of Invention : Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

3.93 (952 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 719 pages
  • 177.8 x 256.54 x 43.18mm | 1,202.01g
  • Chapel Hill, United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large Print
  • 0807866164
  • 9780807866160

Flap copy

Exploring privileged Confederate women's wartime experiences, this book chronicles the clash of the old and the new within a group that was at once the beneficiary and the victim of the social order of the Old South.
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Review quote

"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"
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Rating details

952 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 34% (322)
4 36% (342)
3 22% (213)
2 6% (53)
1 2% (22)
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