Cover: Women’s War: Fighting and Surviving the American Civil War, from Harvard University PressCover: Women’s War in HARDCOVER

Women’s War

Fighting and Surviving the American Civil War

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$26.95 • £21.95 • €24.50

ISBN 9780674987975

Publication Date: 04/15/2019

Trade

320 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

8 photos

Belknap Press

World

“As Stephanie McCurry points out in this gem of a book, many historians who view the American Civil War as a ‘people’s war’ nevertheless neglect the actions of half the people.”
—James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom

“A stunning portrayal of a tragedy endured and survived by women.”
—David W. Blight, author of Frederick Douglass

The award-winning author of Confederate Reckoning—a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize—challenges the idea that women are outside of war by revealing their transformative and long-neglected role in the Civil War.

We think of war as a man’s world, but women have always played active roles in times of violence and been left to pick up the pieces in societies decimated by war. In this groundbreaking reconsideration of the Civil War, the award-winning author of Confederate Reckoning invites us to see America’s bloodiest conflict not just as pitting brother against brother but as a woman’s war.

When the war broke out, Union soldiers assumed Confederate women would be innocent noncombatants. Experience soon challenged this simplistic belief. Through a trio of dramatic stories, Stephanie McCurry reveals the vital and sometimes confounding roles women played on and off the battlefield. We meet Clara Judd, a Confederate spy whose imprisonment for treason sparked heated controversy, defying the principle of civilian immunity and leading to lasting changes in the laws of war. Hundreds of thousands of enslaved women escaped across Union lines, upending emancipation policies that extended only to enslaved men. The Union’s response was to classify fugitive black women as “soldiers’ wives,” regardless of whether they were married—offering them some protection but placing new obstacles on their path to freedom. In the war’s aftermath, the Confederate grande dame Gertrude Thomas wrestled with her loss of status and of her former slaves. War, emancipation, and economic devastation affected her family intimately, and through her life McCurry helps us see how fundamental the changes of Reconstruction were.

Women’s War dismantles the long-standing fiction that women are outside of war and shows that they were indispensable actors in the Civil War, as they have been—and continue to be—in all wars.

From Our Blog

Jacket: Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom, by James Danckert and John D. Eastwood, from Harvard University Press

Responding to Boredom during Self-Isolation

No one likes to be bored, but it’s almost inevitable during this time of social distancing and self-quaratine. John D. Eastwood, coauthor of Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom, explains some things that we know about boredom, how to address it—and even what we can gain from it. We have been here before. During the SARS outbreak of 2003, upwards of 23,000 people in the Greater Toronto Area were quarantined. House

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.