Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore: SOUTHERN WOMEN IN THE CIVIL WAR ERA (Women in American History)
"Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore" is a dramatic history of the South in the years leading up to and following the Civil War: a history that focuses on the women, black and white, rich and poor, who made up the fabric of southern life before the war and remade themselves and their world after it. Positing the household as the central institution of southern society, Edwards delineates the inseparable links between domestic relations and civil and political rights in ways that highlight women's active political role throughout the nineteenth century. She draws on diaries, letters, newspaper accounts, government records, legal documents, court proceedings, and other primary sources to explore the experiences and actions of individual women in the changing South, demonstrating how family, kin, personal reputation, and social context all merged with gender, race, and class to shape what particular women could do in particular circumstances. Meet Harriet Jacobs, the escaped slave who hid in a tiny, unheated attic on her master's property for seven years until she could free her children and herself. Marion Singleton Deveaux Converse, the southern belle who leaped out a second-story window to escape her second husband's 'discipline' and received temporary shelter from her slaves. Sarah Guttery, a white, poor, unwed mother of two, whose hard work and clean living earned her community's respect despite her youthful transgressions. Aunt Lucy, who led her fellow slaves in taking over her master's abandoned plantation and declared herself the new mistress. Through vivid portraits of these and other slaves, free blacks, common whites, and the white elite, Edwards shows how women's domestic situations determined their lives before the war and their responses to secession and armed conflict. She also documents how women of various classes entered into the process of rebuilding, asserting new rights and exploring new roles after the war. An ideal basic text on society in the Civil War era, "Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore" demonstrates how women on every step of the social ladder worked actively throughout the period to shape southern society in ways that fulfilled their hopes for the future. They used the resources at their disposal to fashion their own positive identities, to create the social bonds that sustained them in difficult times, and to express powerful social critiques that helped them make sense of their lives.
By Ali Kat - January 16, 2010
Dr. Edwards' book covers the experience of the three main categories of Southern women before, during and after the Civil War. Particularly impressive is her work on poor white women because they are the most difficult to research. Rich white women left diaries and the Freedman's Bureau left a great deal of documentation on former slave women. Poor white women had not the time, education and materials to write, nor the interest of any organization, much less a government bureaucracy. Not only is this book excellent for the information and analyses it contains, but also for the smooth writing style that moves easily through the material. Dr. Edwards uses the stories of individuals to relate larger trends, again making it more fun to read. I absolutely recommend this book for anyone interested in the subject matter.
I loved this book
By Grace - January 19, 2012
This book describes what life in the South was like for white and black women, before, during, and after the Civil War. Taken from true accounts (diaries, court documents, letters and other sources), it's well documented and describes not only what happened to these women, but how they felt about their lives and changing circumstances. It's very well written and I couldn't put it down.
I'm disappointed to see there are so many reviews for the fiction book "The Help", and so few for this book, which is actual history regarding race relations.
Great for Research
By Fantasia - March 7, 2013
I am writing a thesis on the Southern women of the civil war era. This book is very informative! Book came as described.
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