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Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier (Oklahoma Paperbacks Edition) Paperback – April 15, 1998
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About the Author
Ursula Smith pursued graduate work at San Francisco State University under a Ford Foundation Fellowship and taught in the San Francisco school system. She began collaborative work in women's history and biography with coauthor Linda Peavy in Bozeman, Montana. Since then Peavy and Smith have coauthored ten books, including Women in Waiting in the Westward Movement, Pioneer Women, Frontier Children, and Frontier House. Currently residing in Vermont, Smith has given presentations and workshops with Peavy across the nation, including at the Library of Congress and the White House. With Peavy she has been awarded a Redd Center for Western Studies Independent Research Award, a Smithsonian Short-Term Visitors grant, two nonfiction writing residencies at Centrum, Port Townsend, Washington, and two Paladin Awards for excellence in writing western history.
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Top Customer Reviews
Please read this book and with that said.. the pictures in this book are a historian's dream!
The stories are about courageous women that left behind well-established homes to travel to unsettled regions; women that learned to "make do" and start from scratch to set up housekeeping; women from all walks of life who melded together to do what they could to improve their new surroundings; and the women who civilized the West.
PIONEER WOMEN is a collection of stories as taken from letters, diaries, memoirs, oral histories, and other personal papers of women themselves. It's brilliantly reconstructed and a must read for the avid or casual reader!
Readers will find "Pioneer Women" extraordinarily readable. In addition, it is the most accurate and realistic among the several books I have read on this and related topics. Not surprisingly, the majority of those books are listed in the bibliography. This is indeed a book that improves greatly upon its sources.
The authors point out that in places, the frontier in America extended well into the twentieth century. My wife and I were raised on ranches where home was a log cabin without water or electricity. Meals were cooked on a coal and wood stove; kerosene lamps provided light at night. My mother was born in 1894, married in 1914, and kept a diary from 1918 into the seventies. This book is exceptionally true to that diary, to my own experience, and to the gossip I heard listening to my parents and their contemporaries.
History should be reported without an agenda. Inevitably a little distortion creeps in, but Peavy and Smith manage to keep it to a bare minimum. They cover hardships of pioneer life, the experiences of minorities, female influences on civilization and culture, and feminist issues without letting any of those become a focus of the book. They use first-person accounts from pioneer diaries and letters effectively without this being a reprinting of those accounts.Read more ›
Primary resources, such as diaries from women who lived through this period in history, are rare. The authors of this book did a great job finding these rare resources and presenting the information in a very organized way, from what women went through traveling to their new home and cooking and caring for family on the trail,to giving birth away from all conveniences.
This is a great book for those interested in the history of women and the movement westward, and what an individual would face in this situation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good first read if you've never read or thought about women's lives in the days od wagons and wilderness, but not too meaty if you;ve read other books on the topic.Published 4 months ago by connie
Excellent! Very well researched. Some surprises, little neat details. I found this very interesting and could not reading once I started.Published 4 months ago by Kelsie Blackmoon