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Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman (Lives of American Women) 0th Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813347653
ISBN-10: 0813347653
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  • Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman (Lives of American Women)
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Dickinson, a western Massachusetts “tailoress,” never married (though she had opportunities). Sadly, she destroyed her more “worldly” early journals in her forties and focused instead on spiritual topics. Readers will wish those earlier pages could be reconstructed so they could watch this smart, very pious eighteenth-century woman wrestle with the anomalies of her (relative) personal independence through the years when her fellow colonists debated national independence, fought a war to win it, and then struggled to define their country’s new role. To fill that gap, University of Massachusetts–Amherst historian Miller has pieced together the Revolution-era history of Dickinson’s region with observations from her neighbors and clients and more than 200 pages of Dickinson’s spiritual journal (1787–1802) that have been preserved. Dickinson bitterly bewails her loneliness, often viewing it as a punishment for her religious shortcomings. At other times, however, she recognizes that marriage and motherhood bring burdens as well as joys and that her relatively independent path has had its own compensations. Most appropriate for libraries where interest in women’s history and eighteenth-century U.S. history is strong. --Mary Carroll


"Miller makes good use of the documents Dickinson left behind, portraying her as an intelligent woman who knew what was at stake in the Revolution, who was drawn in to the cause, and who remained thoroughly independent till the end."
Publishers Weekly

“Miller’s weaving of the narrative of the American Revolution and its aftermath with the story of Dickinson’s life is commendable . . . It [is] well suited for use in general surveys of US history, women’s history, or the era of the American Revolution. Readers with more general interests will simply enjoy the story of a women’s interesting life in interesting times.” —The Historian

Praise for the Lives of American Women series

"Finally! The majority of students—by which I mean women—will have the opportunity to read biographies of women from our nation’s past. (Men can read them too, of course!) The ‘Lives of American Women’ series features an eclectic collection of books, readily accessible to students who will be able to see the contributions of women in many fields over the course of our history. Long overdue, these books will be a valuable resource for teachers, students, and the public at large."
Cokie Roberts, author of Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty

"Just what any professor wants: books that will intrigue, inform, and fascinate students! These short, readable biographies of American women—specifically designed for classroom use—give instructors an appealing new option to assign to their history students."
Mary Beth Norton, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History, Cornell University

"For educators keen to include women in the American story, but hampered by the lack of thoughtful, concise scholarship, here comes ‘Lives of American Women,’ embracing Abigail Adams’s counsel to John—‘remember the ladies.’ And high time, too!"
Lesley S. Herrmann, Executive Director, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

"These books are, above all, fascinating stories that will engage and inspire readers. They offer a glimpse into the lives of key women in history who either defied tradition or who successfully maneuvered in a man’s world to make an impact. The stories of these vital contributors to American history deliver just the right formula for instructors looking to provide a more complicated and nuanced view of history."
Rosanne Lichatin, 2005 Gilder Lehrman Preserve America History Teacher of the Year

"Students both in the general survey course and in specialized offerings like my course on U.S. women’s history can get a great understanding of an era from a short biography. Learning a lot about a single but complex character really helps to deepen appreciation of what women’s lives were like in the past."
Patricia Cline Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara

"Biographies are, indeed, back. Not only will students read them, biographies provide an easy way to demonstrate particularly important historical themes or ideas. . . . Undergraduate readers will be challenged to think more deeply about what it means to be a woman, citizen, and political actor. . . . I am eager to use this in my undergraduate survey and specialty course."
Jennifer Thigpen, Washington State University, Pullman

"The Lives of American Women authors raise all of the big issues I want my classes to confront—and deftly fold their arguments into riveting narratives that maintain students’ excitement."
Woody Holton, author of Abigail Adams

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Product Details

  • Series: Lives of American Women
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813347653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813347653
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,163,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting read focusing on the life of one woman who chose not to "change her name", ie get married, and became a gown maker to support herself. Details of daily life in the eighteenth century are also here. For example, the author of the diary writes in dismay about the ever-increasing incidence of premarital pregnancy after the Revolution and talks about some local examples. Good read for anyone interesting to further their knowledge of the period.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book thinking I would be hearing more from Rebecca Dickinson through her diary entries. But instead it's a fast reading nice book on everyday life in Colonial New England.
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