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May 21 , 2009

Half Sisters of History

Southern Women and the American Past


Long relegated to the margins of historical research, the history of women in the American South has rightfully gained prominence as a distinguished discipline. A comprehensive and much-needed tribute to southern women’s history, Half Sisters of History brings together the most important work in this field over the past twenty years.
This collection of essays by pioneering scholars surveys the roots and development of southern women’s history and examines the roles of white women and women of color across the boundaries of class and social status from the founding of the nation to the present. Authors including Anne Firor Scott, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, and Nell Irwin Painter, among others, analyze women’s participation in prewar slavery, their representation in popular fiction, and their involvement in social movements. In no way restricted to views of the plantation South, other essays examine the role of women during the American Revolution, the social status of Native American women, the involvement of Appalachian women in labor struggles, and the significance of women in the battle for civil rights. Because of their indelible impact on gender relations, issues of class, race, and sexuality figure centrally in these analyses.
Half Sisters of History will be important not only to women’s historians, but also to southern historians and women’s studies scholars. It will prove invaluable to anyone in search of a full understanding of the history of women, the South, or the nation itself.

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