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Gender and the Sectional Conflict (The Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era) Hardcover – January 1, 2009

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ISBN-13: 978-0807832448 ISBN-10: 0807832448 Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing

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Editorial Reviews


"A brilliant exploration of the role of gender in the Civil War.--Journal of Southern History

Different and compelling. . . . Skillfully integrates much recent Civil War historiography . . . while providing a concise, readable narrative suitable for undergraduate classrooms.--Maryland Historical Magazine

A significant, useful, and insightful synthesis of more than two decades of scholarship [that is] just as valuable for pushing at the boundaries of our knowledge about how gender ideology shaped American politics and culture.--The Annals of Iowa

[An] insightful and convincing work. . . . Carefully presents a balanced account of ideology of gender on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. . . . Adds significantly to our understanding of masculinity and femininity during the nineteenth century.--Louisiana History

A valuable contribution to the role that gender played during the Civil War era [that helps] to bring a more comparative approach to Civil War home-front studies. . . . Silber has succeeded in reiterating the important link between home front and battle field and its comparative significance for how soldiers and civilians understood, participated in, and remembered the Civil War.--West Virginia History


An insightful exploration of gender relations during the Civil War.--The Courier|Nina Silber's essays offer a creative window onto the expanding world of nineteenth-century white womanhood and the intriguing challenges met by those who wrestled with issues of power, patriotism, and perspective during our nation's epic struggle, the American Civil War.--Catherine Clinton, author of Mrs. Lincoln: A Life|This insightful and thought-provoking volume is a valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on gender and the Civil War.--H-Net Reviews|Nina Silber energetically and persuasively shows that when it comes to understanding the Civil War, gender is no fashionable academic abstraction. What Northerners and Southerners thought defined men as men and women as women shaped competing notions of patriotism, and profoundly influenced how Americans waged, endured, and remembered the war.--Chandra Manning, author of What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War|Silber reminds us how crucial gender ideology was--not just to the women on the home front, but also to soldiers in the ranks and politicians in office. She is a deft and thought-provoking historian, and Gender and the Sectional Conflict adds tremendously to current intellectual debates.--Lesley J. Gordon, University of Akron

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Product Details

  • Series: The Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; First Edition, 1st Printing edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807832448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807832448
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,904,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The American Civil War can be illuminated from many perspectives. Although most studies of the war focus upon political or military issues, or upon slavery, a growing number of scholars have been examining the Civil War from the standpoint of gender relations. Among the most prominent of these scholars is Nina Silber, Professor of History at Boston University. Silber's most recent book, "Gender and the Sectional Conflict" (2009) consists of three lectures that she delivered at Penn State as part of the Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era. In the book, Silber examines how North and South viewed masculinity and femininity and how their respective views impacted their conduct of the Civil War and its aftermath.

In the first lecture, "Gender and the 'Cause' in the U.S. Civil War, Union and Confederate" Silber begins with a question that has been explored by others: what prompted individuals, North and South, to the possible sacrifice of their lives in the Civil War? She argues that in some important respects the sections responded to this question differently and that the difference implicated gender issues. People in the South believed that they were fighting for home and hearth. The South at the outset of the War lacked the sophisticated commercial development found in the North. Thus fighting to protect women -- wives, mothers, sisters -- was at the core of the Confederacy war effort, Silber argues. She claims that the South never developed a true sense of nationalism, and that the war was waged to protect what was dear to individuals.

Fighting to protect women and womanhood was critical to the North as well, Silber realizes.
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Gender and the Sectional Conflict (The Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era)
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