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    The Powell's Playlist | February 27, 2015

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1 Local Warehouse US History- 1800 to Civil War

Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War


Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

No American needs to be told that the Civil War brought the United States to a critical juncture in its history. The war changed forever the face of the nation, the nature of American politics, the status of African-Americans, and the daily lives of millions of people. Yet few of us understand how the war transformed gender roles and attitudes toward sexuality among American citizens. Divided Houses is the first book to address this sorely neglected topic, showing how the themes of gender, class, race, and sexuality interacted to forge the beginnings of a new society.

In this unique volume, historians Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber bring together a wide spectrum of critical viewpoints--all written by eminent scholars--to show how gender became a prism through which the political tensions of antebellum America were filtered and focused. For example, Divided Houses demonstrates that the abolitionist movement was strongly allied with nineteenth-century feminism, and shows how the ensuing debates over sectionalism and, eventually, secession, were often couched in terms of gender. Northerners and Southerners alike frequently ridiculed each other as "effeminate": slaveowners were characterized by Yankees as idle and useless aristocrats, enfeebled by their "peculiar institution"; northerners were belittled as money-grubbers who lacked the masculine courage of their southern counterparts.

Through the course of the book, many fascinating subjects are explored, such as the new "manly" responsibilities both black and white men had thrust upon them as soldiers; the effect of the war on Southern women's daily actions on the homefront; the essential part Northern women played as nurses and spies; the war's impact on marriage and divorce; women's roles in the guerilla fighting; even the wartime dialogue on interracial sex. There is also a rare look at how gender affected the experience of freedom for African-American children, a discussion of how Harriet Beecher Stowe attempted to distract both her readers and herself from the ravages of war through the writing of romantic fiction, and a consideration of the changing relations between black men and a white society which, during the war, at last forced to confront their manhood. In addition, an incisive introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson helps place these various subjects in an overall historical context.

Nowhere else are such topics considered in a single, accessible volume. Divided Houses sheds new light on the entire Civil War experience--from its causes to its legacy--and shows how gender shaped both the actions and attitudes of those who participated in this watershed event in the history of America.


A collection of essays on gender in 19th-century USA, which explores specifically all major aspects of women's roles in the American Civil War.


Includes bibliographical references (p. [341]-351) and index.

About the Author

Catherine Clinton is Visiting Professor of African-American Studies at Harvard University. She is the author of The Plantation Mistress: Woman's World in the Old South, The Other Civil War: American Women in the Nineteenth Century, and Portraits of American Women (with G.B. Barker-Benfeld).

Nina Silber is Assistant Professor of History at Boston University and is the author of the forthcoming The Romance of Reunion: Northerners and the South, 1865-1900.

Product Details

Clinton, Catherine
Silber, Nina
Foreword by:
McPherson, James M.
McPherson, James M.
Clinton, Catherine
Silber, Nina
null, Catherine
null, Nina
Clinton, Catherine
Silber, Nina
McPherson, James M.
Oxford University Press, USA
New York :
United States - Civil War
Gender Studies
Sex role
Women's Studies - General
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
History, American | Civil War
History, American | Civil War and Reconstruction
United States - History - Civil War, 1861-
United States Social conditions To 1865.
History, American | Civil War & Reconstruction
Gender Studies-General
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
3 illus.
5.38 x 8 x 0.88 in 0.8 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » 1800 to 1920
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to Civil War
History and Social Science » US History » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General

Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War Used Trade Paper
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Product details 448 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195080346 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A collection of essays on gender in 19th-century USA, which explores specifically all major aspects of women's roles in the American Civil War.
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