Cover for EDWARDS: Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction

Gendered Strife and Confusion

The Political Culture of Reconstruction
Awards and Recognition:

A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 1998.

Challenging the narrative of Reconstruction history

Exploring the gendered dimension of political conflicts, Laura Edwards links transformations in private and public life in the era following the Civil War. Ideas about men's and women's roles within households shaped the ways groups of southerners--elite and poor, whites and blacks, Democrats and Republicans--envisioned the public arena and their own places in it. By using those on the margins to define the center, Edwards demonstrates that Reconstruction was a complicated process of conflict and negotiation that lasted long beyond 1877 and involved all southerners and every aspect of life.


"Completely recasts the era of Reconstruction, redefining the idea of 'politics' and remaking the category of 'labor.' The effects are quietly revolutionary, as is the entire fascinating study."--Nell Irvin Painter, author of Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas after Reconstruction

"Formidably researched and carefully argued. . . . A very important contribution to the history of race relations in the United States."--Linda K. Kerber, coeditor of U.S. History as Women's History: New Feminist Essays

"Completely recasts the era of Reconstruction, redefining the idea of 'politics' and remaking the category of 'labor.' The effects are quietly revolutionary, as is the entire fascinating study."--Nell Irvin Painter, author of Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas after Reconstruction

"Formidably researched and carefully argued. . . . A very important contribution to the history of race relations in the United States."--Linda K. Kerber, coeditor of U.S. History as Women's History: New Feminist Essays


Laura F. Edwards is the Peabody Family Distinguished Professor of History in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University. Her books include A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights and Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore: Southern Women in the Civil War Era.

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