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Revolutionary Mothers
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About the Author

Carol Berkin received her A.B. from Barnard College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. She taught at Baruch College from 1972 to 2008 and has taught at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York since 1983. She is currently Baruch Presidential Professor of History. Berkin is the author ofRevolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence, A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution, Jonathan Sewall: Odyssey of an American Loyalist, First Generations: Women in Colonial America, and numerous articles and reviews. She lives in New York City and Guilford, Connecticut.

Reviews

Women as well as men were there as America launched its independence. From a Baruch College history professor; with a 35,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Confronting "the gender amnesia that surrounds the American Revolution," historian Berkin (A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution) offers a lively account of women's various roles in the long, bloody conflict. Early forms of resistance included boycotting British cloth-and thus dusting off retired spinning wheels-and tea as women used "their purchasing power as a political weapon." As the conflict became a war in city streets and the neighboring countryside, houses became war zones; ordinary women often served as spies, saboteurs and couriers. Camp followers (often soldiers' wives) provided logistical support (cooking, washing, sewing, nursing, finding supplies) and occasionally even fought; prostitutes kept up soldiers' sexual (and social) morale. Generals' wives, "admired while the ordinary camp followers were often scorned," accompanied their husbands in different style; they boosted morale with dinner parties and dancing. Berkin reaches beyond white "American" women to chart the experiences of Loyalist women ("targets of Revolutionary governments eager to confiscate the property of... traitors"), Native American women (for whom "an American victory would have... tragic consequences") and African-American women (whose "loyalties were to their own future, not to Congress or to king"). First-person accounts lend immediacy and freshness to a lucidly written, well-researched account that is neither a romantic version of "a quaint and harmless war" nor "an effort to stand traditional history on its head." Agent, Dan Green. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Berkin vividly recounts Colonial women's struggles for independence -- for their nation and, sometimes, for themselves. . . . [Her] lively book reclaims a vital part of our political legacy." --Los Angles Times Book Review

"Compact and informative. . . one is simply bowled over by the courage and fortitude of these women." --The Washington Times

"Berkin is a great storyteller . . . her dedication to telling the stories of these women is evident." --The Christian Science Monitor "[Berkin] illuminates the many way women on both sides of the conflict performed as couriers, spies, saboteurs, camp followers [and] noble and enduring wives." --The Washington Post Book World "Carol Berkin has merged the craft of the skilled historian and the sensitivity of a master storyteller with her sensibilities as a pioneering scholar of women to produce the best narrative of how women of diverse backgrounds experienced the American Revolution." --Edith Gelles, author of Portia: The World of Abigail Adams
"Revolutionary Mothers is an accessible, lively blend of great story-telling and recent scholarship, the most comprehensive study yet published of women in the American Revolution. Readers of all descriptions will enjoy and learn from it." --Mary Beth Norton, author of In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 "Revolutionary Mothers is vintage Carol Berkin, incisive, thoughtful and spiced with vivid anecdotes that add another dimension to the narrative. Don't miss it." --Thomas Fleming, author of Liberty! The American Revolution "Revolutionary Mothers is a treat to read. Not only is Carol Berkin a skillful writer, but she has placed women squarely at the center of the independence movement. By showing the different roles women played, she moves the battlefield to wherever women were forced to make choices and employ their talents. Elite, poor, Euro, Native, and African American women collide in Berkin's book, as do the rebels and loyalists who were once friends and neighbors. A valuable and readable book." --Elaine Crane, author of Ebb Tide in New England: Women, Seaports, and Social Change, 1630-1800

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