Cover for RABLE: Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism

Civil Wars

Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of the 1989 Jefferson Davis Award of the Museum of the Confederacy, 1989. Winner of the Julia Cherry Spruill Prize of the Southern Association of Women Historians, 1991.

The award-winning study of how women accepted, and challenged, boundaries in the Civil War-era South

Born into a male-dominated society, southern women often chose to support patriarchy and their own celebrated roles as mothers, wives, and guardians of the home and humane values. George C. Rable uncovers the details of how women fit into the South's complex social order and how Southern social assumptions shaped their attitudes toward themselves, their families, and society as a whole. He reveals a bafflingly intricate social order and the ways the South's surprisingly diverse women shaped their own lives and minds despite strict boundaries. Paying particular attention to women during the Civil War, Roble illuminates their thoughts on the conflict and the threats and challenges they faced and looks at their place in both the economy and politics of the Confederacy. He also ranges back to the antebellum era and forward to postwar South, when women quickly acquiesced to the old patriarchal system but nonetheless lived lives changed forever by the war.

"A well-written book of interest to both Confederate Civil War buffs and students of women's history in America. Rable has done an excellent job of weaving quotes from the private writings of Southern women into his narrative."--Civil War News

"It is an absorbing work, clearly written and filled with striking material gathered from an impressive variety of sources, including manuscript collections from every Confederate state, memoirs, newspapers, and public records, especially War Department records and correspondence between women and Confederate public figures. . . . Every future scholar of the topic will have to reckon with this important book."--Reviews in American History

"This well-written presentation expands an understanding of Southern women and the Civil War's impact on those who bore the burdens of the home front."--North Carolina Historical Review

George C. Rable is professor emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Alabama. His books include Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! and Damn Yankees! Demonization and Defiance in the Confederate South.

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