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Bound By a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920 Paperback – June 21, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0814782828 ISBN-10: 0814782825

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Bound By a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920 + Inside Greek U.: Fraternities, Sororities, and the Pursuit of Pleasure, Power, and Prestige + Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Turk illuminates a previously neglected, marginal(ized) subject in her balanced assessment, showing how women's Greek letter fraternities reflected larger social currents: gracefully written and handsomely presented."

-Choice

"Turk paints an eloquent picture of how the bonds of sisterhood sustained these women and their fellow pioneers . . . Turk is to be commended for illuminating a neglected but relevant chapter in the history of women's education."

-Library Journal

"Turk presents a mostly balanced treatment of women's fraternities. She fills in gaps left behind by previous scholars."

-American Historical Review

About the Author

Diana B. Turk is an assistant professor at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (June 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814782825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814782828
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Emma Watkins on September 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am currently a doctoral candidate in the field of education and picked up this book more out of curiosity than anything else. I was really gripped from the beginning and what was originally going to be a hasty perusal became a deep and rich resource. Turk pushes preconceptions and notions of sororities by uncovering layers of meaning that these early fraternities had for the women involved in them. She is able to convey through a wide use of fascinating primary documents the ways these groups supported and encouraged women in early co-educational colleges. She also is able to create a convincing narrative of how they evolved from their original goals and purposes in response to changing situations for women and the historical context they reflect.

Overall I found this personally fascinating and professionally enlightening. It did much to alter my understanding of sororities and early college experiences for women in this country.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Angie on August 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a sorority alumna and adviser. The best thing I got out of this book was an understanding of the true purpose of most sororities when they started and how they struggled to balance the needs of their collegiate and alumnae members as the organizations aged. So many people now think of sororities as simply social organizations that I think it would be amazing if they understood that these groups were created to encourage female students who were outnumbered and looked down upon as they integrated colleges and universities. As sororities aged their alumnae members faced many of the concerns and negative stereotypes that we are facing again and I hope we can learn something from the way they handled these problems a century ago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AMCIT on April 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I almost wish this had been required reading when I was a pledge. It provides a really unique look at the early purposes of women's fraternities and sororities, and emphasizes what makes us similar rather than what makes us different. No sugar-coating -- details sororities keeping out "undesirables" of one form or another and the social leg-up membership provided in a day when that was even more important than today.

I'd love to see a 1920-2000 version, too. I understand why this history only covers the period through the early 1900s; a further history would be significantly more voluminous to cover all the challenges these groups have faced.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Whitehead on July 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because our sorority alumnae chapter chose it as a book club selection. Not one of the ladies was able to get through the book. The book should not list an author, instead list the person who compiled a bunch of other peoples ideas together. Most pages had more in the footnotes section than on the page. It was accurate - from what I read, but extremely dry and devoid of any life. What could have been a historically accurate depiction of the struggles that women went through to start their own collegiate social clubs, was instead a pieced together collection of excerpts from other books.
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Bound By a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920
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