[Read Kindle] Ä Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War ⚽ eBook or Kindle ePUB free

[Read Kindle] å Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War Ó 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 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 Writtenas academic than popular non fiction this book was a tad dry to read but I was interested enough in the subject matter to persevere to the end Drew Gilpin Faust examined how the roles of affluent Confederate women changed drastically during the Civil War after the men left to serve in the Confederate Army Restrictions of race, class and gender kept them prim and proper before the war but now they had to manage the plantation and discipline the slaves And they failed.Chapter 3 En Writtenas academic than popular non fiction this book was a tad dry to read but I was interested enough in the subject matter to persevere to the end Drew Gilpin Faust examined how the roles of affluent Confederate women changed drastically during the Civil War after the men left to serve in the Confederate Army Restrictions of race, class and gender kept them prim and proper before the war but now they had to manage the plantation and discipline the slaves And they failed.Chapter 3 Enemies in Our Households Confederate Women and Slavery was the most interesting section As the war progressed the agriculture industry in the South suffered and it was not uncommon for slaves to leave Some mistresses were devastated and perplexed yet they remained completely clueless Eva Jones was distraught when three female slaves seized their freedom without bidding any of us an affectionate adieu The first only meal my mother ever cooked her daughter Emma Prescott remembered, was the day after the negros all left Mother went into the kitchen to cook breakfast She sifted some flour into the tray and stood, thinking what to do next when an old negro man appeared at the window said laws mistis is you cooking breakfast No I am not come in here and get it for me which he did A Louisiana lady who had never even so much as washed out a pocket handkerchief with my own hands suddenly had to learn to do laundry for her entire family.They had to learn from scratch how to cook and clean after their slaves left I couldn t stop laughing and I felt no sympathy for them I first heard of this book when the author, the first female president of Harvard University, was interviewed on Freakonomics Radio Originally from the South, she was raised with the expectation to be a lady She completely defied it by doing the unladylike thing of raising farm animals alongside her brothers She sounded like another Nelle Harper Lee, except she chose academia instead of novel writing Her book examines the lives of an earlier set of Southern ladies the generation of white I first heard of this book when the author, the first female president of Harvard University, was interviewed on Freakonomics Radio Originally from the South, she was raised with the expectation to be a lady She completely defied it by doing the unladylike thing of raising farm animals alongside her brothers She sounded like another Nelle Harper Lee, except she chose academia instead of novel writing Her book examines the lives of an earlier set of Southern ladies the generation of white women whose husbands and sons fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.The author claims that the book is meant for lay audiences and not academics, but as you d expect from the president of Harvard, the book was somewhat academic in tone Though it s not especially long about 250 pages without the footnotes it was rather a heavy read Each chapter addressed a different facet of life and how it was impacted by the war Unsurprisingly, the biggest change was in relation to the slaves Without men around to enforce the women s commands with the threat of a whip, there was plenty of insubordination and plain old running away One woman lost all her slaves in one fell swoop They just up and left, and there was nothing she could do about it.The result of this was that these upper class white women were forced for the first time in their lives to perform their own domestic and even farm work For the most part, they failed at it But as the title suggests, necessity is the mother of invention, so even though these women didn t always rise to the circumstances with great competence, they did developindependence In that way, the Civil War upended the traditional role of ladies After the war, though, most women were only too happy to try and regain the pre war race and class structure, except now they had to pay servants instead of owning slaves.My very favorite chapter was on how central reading and writing were to these women s lives during the war That humanized them, and this was a group most of us wouldn t feel much sympathy for The chapter on the vocation of nursing was my second favorite Most white Southern women did not follow in the path of Florence Nightingale, though she did make nursing a respectable vocation for women Before her, it was considered inappropriate because it involved too much intimacy with male bodies The nursing of wounded soldiers until then was carried out by permanently wounded soldiers or by men of lower class Because of that, most of the nursing of wounded Confederate soldiers was carried out by African Americans, both male and female And so goes another one of the Civil War s many ironies.As the author states in the beginning, most academics do not like to research the history of the oppressors, but as a woman of the South, the subject interested her She neither demonizes nor idealizes the women she just presents them as they are, usually in direct quotes from their letters and diaries Sometimes there seemed to be too many examples to make a single point, but mostly it was remarkably thorough research presented in a fairly readable way Besides, even if I was bored in spots, who am I to give the president of Harvard less than 5 stars It wasn t a fun book, but I learned a lot Recommended This book, written by Harvard s first female president, offers a historical survey of elite Southern women during the Civil War as read through their letters, diaries, citywide decrees, women s societies, and a variety of other popular and legal sources The portrait is not flattering Faust debunks the myth that many white Southern women centralized production in their homes war home factories , that they successfully made their own products i.e., especially cloth , that they managed their This book, written by Harvard s first female president, offers a historical survey of elite Southern women during the Civil War as read through their letters, diaries, citywide decrees, women s societies, and a variety of other popular and legal sources The portrait is not flattering Faust debunks the myth that many white Southern women centralized production in their homes war home factories , that they successfully made their own products i.e., especially cloth , that they managed their plantations well, or that they significantly impacted nursing and other professions Essentially, Southern women subscribed to an ideology of helplessness and frailty that relied on white masculinity for its defense They didn t want , for the most part, to be independent they would have much rather preferred being protected and enclosed in the safe hoop of patriarchy The Civil War required them to step up into position of independence and assertiveness, and at first, women protested and withdrew They could barely manage their slaves, resorted to impulsive, emotional outbursts, and otherwise failed for the most part, though of course there are always exceptions to transgress existing gender boundaries However, by the end of the war, elite white women were tired of relying on a white masculinity that seemed to be failing in protecting their identities Bitter and disillusioned, they began tentatively constructing their own identities, but not as their northern sisters hadout of spite and anger at conditions, their actions were rooted in the distinctive Southern experience of poverty and failure Very clearly written just like our history papers were in college Each chapter tackles a part of the subject so you can put the book down and pick it up over a long period of time and not be lost.Faust debunks the romantic belief lots of us have that the majority of Southern women supported the war effort gladly I liked that there was no judgment placed by the author on ladies behavior during the war but the portrait did end up being not very flattering.