May/June 1996 | Volume 47, Issue 3
MOTHERS OF INVENTION
Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War
by Drew Gilpin Faust , University of North Carolina Press, 326 pages, $29.95. CODE: UNC-7
Faust’s masterly portrayal of these women makes vivid the difficulties they faced, which left one describing herself as “nothing but a poor contemptible piece of multiplying human flesh tied to the house by a crying young one, looked upon as belonging to a race of inferior beings.” The growing sense that “men went off to worship at the altar of ambition while women were relegated to the altars of sacrifice,” Faust claims, culminated in a feeling of betrayal and a goad to greater independence. Ultimately, these Southern women’s experiences became one of the causes of the rising women’s movement of the late nineteenth century.