Women in the American Revolution: Gender, Politics, and the Domestic World

Univ. of Virginia. May 2019. 280p. ed. by . index. ISBN 9780813942599. $39.50; ebk. ISBN 9780813942605. HIST
OrangeReviewStarIn this edited collection, historian Oberg (senior research scholar, history, Princeton Univ.; Federalists Reconsidered) examines the role of women in colonial America, with a specific focus on how the American Revolution shaped their lives. Contributors such as historians Rosemarie Zagarri and Sheila Skemp explore the political identities, economic relationships, and marriages and families of women affected by the Revolution. Some chapters focus on a single subject: First Lady Martha Washington; poet Phillis Wheatley; or Sarah Franklin Bache, Benjamin Franklin's daughter. Other sections address wider issues, including enslaved midwives or British immigrant milliners hope to making a living in the colonies. Since the chapters encompass perspectives from patriots along with those loyal to the Crown, readers develop a comprehensive look at gender roles and relations during this time, including voices from black women. Oberg's research shows that many of these women's stories were buried or untouched until recently.
VERDICT Scholars or history lovers seeking to understand the American Revolution from a different point of view would benefit from these previously understudied stories.

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