The Women’s Fight: The Civil War’s Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation

Univ. of North Carolina. Feb. 2020. 392p. ISBN 9781469653631. $34.95. HIST
Glymph (history and law, Duke Univ.; Out of the House of Bondage) sets out to prove two things with this latest book. First, the United States during the Civil War was as divided along gender lines as it was along geographic, political, socioeconomic, and racial lines. Second, rather than viewing the American Civil War as the story of how northern white men fought to end slavery, we should view the war as the story of how enslaved blacks wrestled for their own freedom. While other books have detailed how black men fought for their freedom, Glymph focuses on the important role played by enslaved black women in order to achieve freedom. Glymph also examines the experiences of white women of all socioeconomic classes from both North and South, who were divided along political lines and experienced loss during the war. Glymph, however, makes the case that what united them was their racism and disdain for those enslaved.
VERDICT By telling the important, yet often-overlooked story of how enslaved women fought for their rights, and how white women often upheld the status quo, Glymph has written a refreshing, much-needed account of Civil War historiography.

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