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Mothers of Invention

Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

Faust, Drew Gilpin

(Book - 1996)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Mothers of Invention
When Confederate men marched off to battle, southern women struggled with the new responsibilities of directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. Drew Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute crisis, when every part of these women's lives became vexed and uncertain.

Series that include this title

Publisher: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1996
ISBN: 0807822558
Branch Call Number: E628 .F35 1996
Characteristics: xvi, 326 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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Aug 23, 2014
  • robhoma rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

From the old maxim that 'Necessity is the mother of invention' came a book outlining the effect of that maxim on the lives of upper-class and middle-class women of the South during the Civil War.

The Southern plantation society based on patriarchy changed because the Civil War separated most men from the plantations. Southern women, previously considered responsibilities of the male plantation owner, took on responsibilities that they neither asked for or where trained to do.

While this book was interesting at times, it also bogged down into the splitting of philosophical hairs.

Jul 28, 2013
  • SusanWilbanks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A scholarly but readable look at how the experiences of the Civil War changed the self-concepts of elite Southern women. An interesting read for anyone who wants to take their exploration of the Civil War beyond the battlefield.


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