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Women and Men on the Overland Trail, Revised edition Paperback – March 1, 2001


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Women and Men on the Overland Trail, Revised edition + The American West: A New Interpretive History (The Lamar Series in Western History)
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Product Details

  • Series: Yale Nota Bene S
  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 2 edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300089244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300089240
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An enlightening study." -- American West

From the Publisher

Winner of the 1980 Frederick Jackson Turner Award offered by the Organization of American Historians

More About the Author

John Mack Faragher was born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in southern California, where he attended the University of California, Riverside (B.A., 1967), and did social work, before doing graduate work at Yale University (Ph.D., 1977). After fifteen years as a professor at Mount Holyoke College he returned to Yale as the Arthur Unobskey Professof of American History in 1993. His books include Women and Men on the Overland Trail (1979); Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie (1986); Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer (1992); The American West: A New Interpretive History (2000), with Robert V. Hine; A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from their American Homeland (2005); and Frontiers: A Short History of the American West (2007), with Robert V. Hine. He teaches the history of the American West and directs the Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. E. Poe on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the historiography of the westward movement the male perspective predominates. It is the story of men seeking their own destinies in an empty wilderness, searching for land and wealth. It is often a romantic tale of buffalo, Indians, wagon trains, and the gold rush. It is the patriotic story of Manifest Destiny. It is Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Rawhide. Although it is often about greed, it is always about adventure. John Mack Faragher in Women & Men on the Overland Trail tells a different story from a different perspective. His story is about women being ripped from their families, and how they managed to keep their families together and retain their culture in adverse situations.

Faragher's story is generally about the migration of families, and more specifically about the role of women in this migration and their relationships to men within marriages during the 1840s and 1850s. He bases his analyses on 169 diaries and other narratives from women. He then extrapolates to women in general who he believes were coerced into moving west by the socially-constructed dominance of their husbands. Whether it is fair or right to assign the emotions of 169 women to the thousands of women who left no journals, is debatable. He uses a large cohort but not necessarily a representative one. The tables that Faragher compiled in Appendix 1, however, do corroborate his contention that the migrants were young, married, from the Midwest, and took with them only the necessities to start up a new life.

It shouldn't be a surprise that women of were less free than men; women had few rights prior to the 20th Century. Their roles were limited to such activities as cooking, cleaning, sewing, bearing children, nurturing the family, and teaching.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Haworth on November 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an enlightening, informative study on men's and women's lives both in the antebellum midwest and on the trail bound for Oregon and California. It is an excellent source of information. However, men were consistently cast as oppressors and women as victims. The point that nineteenth-century cultural mores put women in an inferior role is well made. But Faragher needs to move past his own sense of outrage at this injustice, and give us a more in-depth analysis of their lives and motivations.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William J. Higgins,III on September 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
It goes without saying that for decades, centuries in fact, society has been patriarchal. Man ruled over woman. What he said was law. This held true for the pre- and post emigrating years along the trail.
Dr. Faragher's effort is a righteous work of how families coexisted both before and during these times. It was a working relationship. Meaningful romance and a companionate marriage took a back seat.

The overload of this fine book is the redundant "woman good, man bad" theme. We are well aware of the hardships women endured during the nineteenth century by performing nearly every task at hand. She was a super human. No social life, just plain hard work all the time.
We are also aware that man was responsible for the "other" duties both on the farm and while traveling the trail. This was life back then, and though times have changed for the better, there is still room for improvement between the sexes.
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1 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I felt that the book was really hard. And it was a little long. But overall the book was very intersing and was different then what I thought it was going to be. I think it is a must buy.
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