Revolutionary Mothers Review

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Berkin, C. (2005). REVOLUTIONARY MOTHERS: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence. Vintage Books.

Book Review #1 By Tawnya Pluid

Carol Berkin’s "Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence" is an excellent book that I immensely enjoyed. When many people think of the Revolutionary War, they might imagine George Washington gallantly leading his men through the winters at Valley Forge or the like. Berkin begins her masterpiece by giving a general overview of the roll that women played in our countries war for independence. Now I, like many others come to think of the iconic role model women like Betsy Ross and the fabled Molly Pitcher, but this star of a book opened my eyes to the everyday revolutionary woman. The running theme throughout the book is the fact that women during the revolutionary war were notable participants on many levels deemed beyond worthy of admiration. This theme was not touted, but elegantly weaved throughout the text in stories of women that left a permanent mark on war effort regardless of race or creed.

Within this book we get the sense that Carol Berkin, a college level history professor in New York values the true history of the war. Instead of spouting fiction about Molly Pitcher and her so-called her heroism, she sought family stories on women like Esther Reed. There are also excerpts from published anonymous poetry in the newspapers from women exercising their voices. Tracking down letters women wrote their family members or journals from these revolutionary women lend further credence to the factual nature of the information contained in this book. Additionally, much information was also gathered from families whose ancestors lived during the revolutionary war. Like any story game youngsters play in school the family history changes and gains a life all its own as passed through the generations. This would be the only aspect of the information in the book that could be considered factual...
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