In the Words of Women: The Revolutionary War and the Birth of the Nation, 1765 - 1799

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9780739150184: In the Words of Women: The Revolutionary War and the Birth of the Nation, 1765 - 1799

In the Words of Women brings together the writings-letters, diaries, journals, pamphlets, poems, plays, depositions, and newspaper articles-of women who lived between 1765 and 1799. The writings are organized chronologically around events, battles, and developments from before the Revolution, through its prosecution and aftermath. They reflect the thoughts, observations and experiences of women during those tumultuous times, women less well known to the reading public, including patriots and loyalists; the highborn and lowly; Native Americans and blacks, both free and enslaved; the involved and observers; the young and old; and those in between. Brief narrative passages provide historical context, and information about the women as they are introduced enable readers to appreciate their relevance and significance.
In the Words of Women also focuses on topics such as health, everyday life, and travel. The selections not only document existing attitudes, practices, and customs but also changes wrought by the war and independence. This book allows the voices of these women to be heard and readers to make their own inferences and judgments based on women "speaking for themselves."

For more information on this topic, please visit the author's website at www.inthewordsofwomen.com.

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About the Author:

Louise V. North is an independent scholar and co-author of Selected Letters of John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay. Janet Wedge is a former high school teacher and adjunct professor at Manhattanville College and co-author of Selected Letters of John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay.
Landa Freeman is a visiting lecturer at numerous historical societies and university groups and co-author of Selected Letters of John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay.

Review:

Through fascinating documents, deft notes, and unobtrusive editing, this collection provides a valuable addition to the literature of the American Revolution and American women's history. In the Words of Women performs the impressive feat of embedding women's experience in the political and military upheavals of the era without losing sight of the ways in which everyday life―household priorities, illness, travel, marriage, parenthood, and social amusement―did not cease for women or men living in the midst of larger events. Scholars and students will turn to this work to see the late eighteenth century with greater illumination. (David Gellman, DePauw University)

So often, women of the Revolutionary Era are ghettoized, set apart from the central narrative. Not so with In the Words of Women. In this valuable documentary resource, female experiences and perspectives are contextualized and integrated into the flow of history. Women thus become real players, and as the title suggests, we meet them on their own terms. (Ray Raphael, author of A People’s History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence)

The voices of the women of the revolutionary generation have sometimes been lost in the rush to provide analysis and narration of their roles. ...The story is too often told about the women who protested, boycotted, fought, nursed, spied, and took over the task of running farm and shop, but the voices we hear do not come from the women themselves. The challenge is to bring those voices to the written page, to make us as familiar with the cadences of the housewife and the camp follower as we are with the tempo of Patrick Henry's oratory. ...This is the challenge that the editors of In the Words of Women have met. (Carol Berkin, from the foreword)

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