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“Conger deftly traces the difficult negotiations these women faced as they struggled with both independence and dependence. Her thorough research as well as her broad geographic approach adds depth to her analysis and particular weight to her conclusions.”
-Lisa Wilson,author of Ye Heart of a Man: The Domestic Life of Men in Colonial New England
“Conger’s powerfully argued The Widows’ Might rejects the dismissive judgment towards colonial widows by colonial leaders and subsequent historians. A thoroughly researched and carefully argued study, The Widows’ Might forces us to rethink the complex ways that colonial society functioned and changed. A must for historians of colonial America and American women.”
-William B. Scott,author of In Pursuit of Happiness: American Conceptions of Property from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century
“Conger offers us a new and complex portrait of the colonial widow. Taking care to distinguish ideology from realities and to recognize regional differences in widows’ experiences, Conger shows us the legal, economic, and social impact of the transition from wife to widow. In the process, this richly researched and well written study challenges older, static notions of gender roles in the family and establishes the critical role of widows in the developing colonial economy. Legal scholars, social historians, and economic historians will find this book invaluable to their understanding of early America.”
-Carol Berkin,author of Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence
Vivian Bruce Conger is Associate Professor of History at Ithaca College.