Women's letters : America from the Revolutionary War to the present /

Other Authors: Grunwald, Lisa., Adler, Stephen J.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Dial Press, 2005.
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Review by Booklist Review

Following up on their book Letters of the Century0 (1999), the wife-and-husband team of Grunwald and Adler turn their attention to the perspectives on everyday life and history as presented through women's letters since the Revolutionary War. In the earliest letters, the women, with little official power and influence, nonetheless offer a glimpse of domestic and national concerns. Abigail Adams, writing to her husband, John, in 1776, admonishes him to "remember the ladies" as constitutional conveners consider rights of citizenship. Among the other contributors are Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Sanger, and Jacqueline Kennedy. These 400 letters chronicle the changes in women's status even as their personal lives continue to revolve around family and friends, telling the stories of their lives and the life of the nation with incredible breadth and depth. A nurse still in Pearl Harbor in 1941 describes the attack to her parents. A management consultant pens a farewell letter to her colleagues as she happily leaves the corporate fast track and heads to the "mommy track." A former slave writes to the Freedmen's Bureau complaining of mistreatment by whites. The opening of one woman's letter to a "beloved friend in history and space" aptly describes this fascinating book. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2005 Booklist

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

In Letters of the Century, Grunwald and Adler offered an epistolary romp through American life in the 20th century. Now the husband-and-wife duo turn their considerable talents to the letters of American women. Some of the letters capture grand historical events-e.g., Abigail Adams gushing to husband John about a July 1776 public reading of the Declaration of Independence. At the other end of the timeline are a handful of letters written on or shortly after 9/11. But many letters dwell on the everyday-sickness, loneliness, childrearing. Some of the letters are by obscure women, and some-such as a February 1861 note from "A Lady" warning Abraham Lincoln of a rumored assassination plot-are anonymous. As the editors note, for most of our history, "women simply had no public forum.... Letters... were among their only outlets for recording what they saw, and how they felt...." This is a delightful collection of belles letters in the most literal sense of the term, and a worthy successor to the editors' previous volume. Agents, Liz Darhansoff and Kathy Robbins. (Sept. 27) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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

Sure to be required reading not just for devotees of women's history or the fine art of letter writing but also for surveying the broad scope of American history itself, this book offers an intimate view of that great expanse from 1775 to 2004. As with their previous volume, Letters of the Century: America, 1900-1999, Grunwald and Adler have arranged the letters chronologically rather than by theme, prefacing the various decades with brief overviews of major events of that time. Each letter is transcribed from the original without additions or deletions, and with an editorial introduction to set the context and explain any terms that might be unknown to the modern reader. Letters selected range from the sage advice contained in a mother's 1781 letter to her soon-to-be-orphaned 14-year-old son, future President of the United States, Andrew Jackson; to a 2004 email by Wall Street Journal correspondent Farnaz Fassihi, which, widely circulated on the Internet, gave people a disturbingly personal picture of the chaos in Iraq. Whether as a rich primary source or simply an illuminating read, Women's Letters is highly recommended for all libraries.-Tessa L.H. Minchew, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston (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.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-This collection of more than 400 entries begins with a letter written by Abigail Grant, accusing her husband of cowardice in battle, and ends with an e-mail by Wall Street Journal correspondent Farnaz Fassihi on the stark state of affairs in war-torn Iraq. In between, a wide variety of compelling subjects is covered. The letter Amelia Earhart presented to her husband on their wedding day detailing her terms for the marriage is included as are the "send-a-dime" chain letter sent more than a billion times during the Depression and a letter addressed to Michael Powell, head of the Federal Communications Commission, complaining about the winner of Fox Network's 2003 American Idol competition. The book is divided by time period, and each section is illustrated with black-and-white graphics representative of the age. The letters are accompanied by information about the topics included, biographical details about the author and the recipient, and other interesting facts.-Debra Shumate, Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas, VA (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.