No small courage : a history of women in the United States /

Other Authors: Cott, Nancy F.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.
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Review by Choice Review

This general survey of American women's lives emphasizes ordinary life experiences while recognizing the differences between race, region, class, and religion. Although written by nine different scholars, it is not a scholarly treatment. There are no footnotes and only a generalized bibliography for each chapter. Some of the material offered is clearly based on the respective writer's research, but it is integrated into a general treatment. Each of the chapters includes portraits of individual women to offer examples of either unusual women's lives (such as the Indian captivity of colonial woman Mary Rowlandson) or representative women (such as the modern women described in William Chafe's chapter). Native American women receive much attention in the first three chapters of the book dealing with the 17th and 18th centuries, while African American women appear in all of the chapters. Overcoming obstacles--be they based on legal, cultural, or prejudicial grounds--makes the story of women in America both a difficult and impressive one to study. This book contributes to our understanding of their struggle. General and undergraduate collections. J. Sochen; Northeastern Illinois University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

Where interest in the civil rights movement and women's studies are strong, these volumes will be constructive acquisitions. Deep in Our Hearts captures the recollections of nine white women actively involved in "The Movement" in the `60s. Each woman's experience was different (though some appear as relatively minor characters in other's stories), so these oral histories provide a range of perspectives on an important period. One major contribution of these narratives is dispelling stereotypes: the authors came from a variety of backgrounds (they weren't all "red diaper babies" from the East Coast) and have spent their post-Movement days in many professions, although virtually all remain committed to social justice. Full of vivid insights into what really happened during those troubled times. No Small Courage is a survey of women's history in the U.S. John Demos opens with a discussion of Native women during colonization. Jane Kamensky contributes the chapter "The Colonial Mosaic," and Marylynn Salmon writes on "The Limits of Independence." The antebellum period (1800^-48) is Michael Goldberg's subject. Harriet Sigerman takes on the Civil War in one chapter and the role of workers in "Laborers for Liberty" in the next. Karen Manners Smith addresses technological changes in "New Paths to Power: 1890^-1920," and Sarah Jane Deutsch describes the years from enactment of women's suffrage through the Depression. The 1940s through 1961 are Elaine Tyler May's concern, and William H. Chafe authors "The Road to Equality," covering the last four decades. Chapter authors and editor are historians at respected universities. By examining the flow of American history as it has affected women, they illuminate aspects of the past that have often been neglected. ^-Mary Carroll

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Of the 10 weighty essays in this lengthy anthology edited by Yale University's Cott, perhaps the strongest is the opening piece, John Demos's incisive look at Native American women. Indian women, he points out, played a crucial role in the European settlement of North America: they made canoes for the traders, served as guides and translators, and participated directly in trade. In Jane Kamensky's essay on colonial women of European and African descent, we learn about demographics (just what did it mean for white women in the colonial Chesapeake that they were outnumbered by men?) and the complexity of colonial marriage. Kamensky also elucidatesDthough somewhat cursorily, Dthe hardships of slavery. Harriet Sigerman describes the 19th-century women's rights battles, looking at women's struggles to get an education, find meaningful work and, most importantly, gain the vote. Karen Manners Smith, writing about the fin-de-sicle, describes women's agitation for suffrage, the women's club movement and women's missionary activity. And in two rousing, if a touch triumphalistic, essays Elaine Tyler May and William H. Chafe introduce readers to women in the post-WWII era: suburban housewives, restless feminists, lesbian activists and ERA advocates. The volume is comprehensive, though perhaps already somewhat dated; it smacks of the 1980s cheerleading style of women's history, and does not reflect recent work that employs gender as a category of analysis rather than simply talking about women as a subject for historical analysis. Still, this volume will no doubt be read enthusiastically by armchair historians and be adopted for classroom use at colleges across the country. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

This collection of ten synthetic essays draws on voluminous recent scholarship about American women. Heavily illustrated and offering more than 100 pictures, the text includes many vignettes about individual women, both notable and ordinary, from early Native American women to more recent movement leaders. All the contributors provide multiple perspectives based on race and class. Because each chapter is written independently, however, this volume is less seamless than other histories of American women; some material appears in more than one chapter. While several contributors are eminent historians (e.g., William Chafe, Elaine Tyler May, and John Demos), other are less well known, and the essays vary in tone and sophistication. (Cott, Stanley Woodard Professor of History and American Studies at Yale, wrote only a three-page preface.) Recommended for public libraries and especially young adult collections.DCynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.