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The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina: Pioneers for Women's Rights and Abolition 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807855669
ISBN-10: 0807855669
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  • The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina: Pioneers for Women's Rights and Abolition
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[An] admirable and path-breaking study."
- "The South Carolina Historical Magazine"

"[An] admirable and path-breaking study."
-- "The South Carolina Historical Magazine"

Review

This book has become a classic work of history that illustrates what is now a central premise among historians: that women's lives mattered in creating the social, cultural, and political contours of the past. In both style and substance, The Grimke Sisters stands out as a model work of history that has inspired a generation of students and scholars. Lerner is truly a master of historical prose.--Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



[An] admirable and path-breaking study.--The South Carolina Historical Magazine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 2 edition (September 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807855669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807855669
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jan R. Schulman on February 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
after reading Sue Monk Kidd's "The Invention of Wings" I had to find out more about the Grimke sisters and this book was wonderful in providing so much information about the abolition movement and about the strong fight these women put up to try and end slavery and to promote women's rights. This was an absolutely fascinating read; more so than the novel. The true story is more exciting than the fictionalized one.
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Format: Paperback
I read an earlier (1970-something?) publication of this work, and really enjoyed it. The sisters were presented as powerful thinkers who struggled with the issues of their day. The title is right on, they were pioneers for women's rights, as well as influential abolitionists. I'm glad that they were presented as whole people, with doubts and questions and problems, too.
It was an easy ready, but I didn't feel like the author was talking down to me. The book is highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
The Grimke Sisters rather then the European-American settlers in the West were the true pioneers of 19th Century America. They were ahead of their peers in supporting reform causes such as Abolitionism, Women's Rights and opposing racial prejudice. The last one was especially significant since many white abolitionists were prejudiced toward blacks even though they opposed slavery.

What is especially remarkable about the Grimke Sisters is that they were among the very few white abolitionists who grew up in the Deep South. They were from South Carolina and their cousin was Robert Rhett the famous fire eater.

The book examines how their religious beliefs shaped their political views and their involvement in factional struggles in the Quaker Church and the Abolition movement.
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The Grimke sisters were indeed gutsy; southern born women who rebelled against slavery and took to the northern hustings to make their case. Gerda Lerner has done a splendid job of mapping their story.

Later I found they were not the only ones in the Grimke family to rebel against "that peculiar institution". Mark Perry's book Lift Up Thy Voice, should be a companion piece, because the sisters had two mulatto nephews they helped educate and who also became abolitionists.
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I purchased this book because I enjoyed Sue Monk Kidd's fictionalized version of their lives in "The Invention of Wings" that I read with my book club. Much of her information was based on this biography of Sarah and Angelina Grimke by Gerda Lerner. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in these early pioneers of the abolitionist movement, as well as the women's rights movement of the 19th century. They were the shoulders that Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, etc. stood on in fighting for women's rights decades later. Lerner has done an amazing job of thorough research, but the book is not merely a dry recitation of facts. Their story is gripping, and her commentary and analysis of their contributions is insightful and valuable. I was so moved by her work (she was a founder of the field of women's history), that when I finished reading it, I wanted to write to her to tell her so, but sadly I discovered that she died in 2013.
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This is a remarkable read -- the research Gerda Lerner put forth over many years (decades) to preserve the Grimke sisters'place in history (and the prominence they well deserve) is, in itself, inspiring; however, the impact these two sisters had on both the abolitionist and women's rights movements is truly incredible. That I'd never heard of them until I happened to read Sue Monk Kidd's "The Invention of Wings" (which I thought was a mediocre attempt at historical fiction) is disheartening. Lerner's book should be on everyone's required reading list. If you're a fan of David McCullough or Doris Kearns Goodwin, you will certainly appreciate Lerner's methodical and exhaustive approach to historical research as well as her ability to transport you to a very difficult and tragic time in our nation's history.
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A piece of Southern US history I never learned in history classes in the sixties in SC. Amazing story about the Quakers and the Grimke women's fight for rights for slaves and for women in our nation.
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After reading The Invention of Wings, I purchased this from the bibliography provided by the author, Sue Monk Kidd. I majored in United States history, but had never heard about these amazing sisters. I am grateful to both Sue Kidd and Gerda Lerner for their books which helped me learn about another piece of the past.
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