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Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868 (2015)

af Cokie Roberts

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268775,547 (3.93)17
In this engrossing and informative companion to her New York Times bestsellers Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by offering a riveting look at Washington, D.C. and the experiences, influence, and contributions of its women during this momentous period of American history. With the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social Southern town of Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year battle that would determine the future of the United States. After the declaration of secession, many fascinating Southern women left the city, leaving their friends--such as Adele Cutts Douglas and Elizabeth Blair Lee--to grapple with questions of safety and sanitation as the capital was transformed into an immense Union army camp and later a hospital. With their husbands, brothers, and fathers marching off to war, either on the battlefield or in the halls of Congress, the women of Washington joined the cause as well. And more women went to the Capital City to enlist as nurses, supply organizers, relief workers, and journalists. Many risked their lives making munitions in a highly flammable arsenal, toiled at the Treasury Department printing greenbacks to finance the war, and plied their needlework skills at The Navy Yard--once the sole province of men--to sew canvas gunpowder bags for the troops. Cokie Roberts chronicles these women's increasing independence, their political empowerment, their indispensable role in keeping the Union unified through the war, and in helping heal it once the fighting was done. She concludes that the war not only changed Washington, it also forever changed the place of women. Sifting through newspaper articles, government records, and private letters and diaries--many never before published--Roberts brings the war-torn capital into focus through the lives of its formidable women.… (mere)
  1. 00
    Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War af Karen Abbott (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: Non-fictional accounts of women's roles in the American Civil War
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» Se også 17 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
*3.5 ( )
  Fortunesdearest | Apr 10, 2020 |
I love to listen to Cokie Roberts on NPR. This book is well-researched, just like her radio pieces. Unfortunately it reads like a string of radio pieces or a term paper. I wish it told a more engaging story, rather than threading together one woman's writing after another. ( )
  meacoleman | Jan 21, 2019 |
In actuality, I might give this book 2.5 stars? But I definitely didn't really like it, and not just because I'm tired of reading about white upper class women in history (though that definitely played into how I felt about the book.)

It was also all over the place--it followed the war chronologically at first, which makes a lot of sense! But then, once the war ended, we focused on Elizabeth Keckley (who we'd been hearing about the entire time, though mostly as a way to get at what was happening with Mary Lincoln, which........... is Gross, frankly, but okay,) and went back to before the war started? And then gathering up all the Confederate women who we'd started with also borked the timeline. Which also: dealing with the Confederate women is a whole other host of issues, but needless to say there's not a whole lot of mention of white supremacy going on, and how it benefitted the lives of these women. And I get that this book is for a pop audience, but honestly that should not prevent us from being Real about White Supremacy, guys. It's very possible to engage in that kind of reading while still seeing women as whole people, and frankly it's incredibly needed in the popular market.

I will say that the little tidbits one gets--the very short stories--can be kind of amusing, and I've never seen anything about Mother Bickerdyke written in print before, so that was a good surprise, but otherwise, I think there are plenty of very accessible books that do a better job than this one in talking about women and their relationship to the Civil War. ( )
  aijmiller | Aug 14, 2017 |
This was a great and interesting history book. I learned and enjoyed this book so much. It was easy to read, with lots of interesting people, and about very interesting time. The notes in the back are useful but you do not need them to make the narrative make sense, the notes are just for more reading and where Roberts got her information. I knew very little about most of these women. I knew about some of them but for example I knew next to nothing about Mary Lincoln. I did not know that she was not liked in Washington, that she had a terrible temper, or that she died penniless and still disliked. There is just so much information in this book that I cannot give it all the room it deserves. The men in these women's lives are important but they really have very little to do with their stories. This is about what power the women of Washington had at a time of great need. If you enjoy historical nonfiction then you will enjoy this book.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I was given a copy of this book by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  lrainey | May 25, 2016 |
5322. Capital Dames The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868, by Cokie Roberts (read 6 Nov 2015) This is a well researched book about women prominent in Washington during the Civil War era. It holds one's interest well till the war is over and then I thought the narrative became of less interest. I appreciated the incident where Cokie's grandson asked "Which side were we on?" and her daughter answered: "Well, everyone in our family fought for the South, but it was good for the country that the North won." Surely we can all agree with that. ( )
1 stem Schmerguls | Nov 6, 2015 |
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Cokie Robertsprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Bozic, MilanOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Stanisic, RenatoDesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Woman was at least fifty years in advance of normal position which continued peace . . . would have assigned her.

-- Clara Barton, Memorial Day address, May 30, 1888
The war had torn the whole social fabric like an earthquake. . . . Women of education and the finest intellectual gifts are to be found in every department.

-- Mary Clemmer Ames, Ten Years in Washington, 1873
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Because I write about women, I have dedicated my books to them. But I realize that I wouldn't have been able to write these books without the men in my life having taken me seriously first as a girl and then as a woman. So it is those men, three of whom we lost last year, I thank with this book.

My father, Hale Boggs.

My brother, Tom Boggs.

My brother-in-law Marc Roberts.

My brother-in-law Paul Sigmund.

And, most especially, my husband, Steven Roberts.
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Introduction: We all recognize that image of Rosie the Riveter, the symbol of American women who went to work in defense industries during World War II, her head wrapped in a red bandana, her fist thrust upward displaying an impressive bicep with the proud motto: "We can do it!" (Introduction)
Church bells chimes their wake-up call for the Capital City just at first light.
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In this engrossing and informative companion to her New York Times bestsellers Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by offering a riveting look at Washington, D.C. and the experiences, influence, and contributions of its women during this momentous period of American history. With the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social Southern town of Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year battle that would determine the future of the United States. After the declaration of secession, many fascinating Southern women left the city, leaving their friends--such as Adele Cutts Douglas and Elizabeth Blair Lee--to grapple with questions of safety and sanitation as the capital was transformed into an immense Union army camp and later a hospital. With their husbands, brothers, and fathers marching off to war, either on the battlefield or in the halls of Congress, the women of Washington joined the cause as well. And more women went to the Capital City to enlist as nurses, supply organizers, relief workers, and journalists. Many risked their lives making munitions in a highly flammable arsenal, toiled at the Treasury Department printing greenbacks to finance the war, and plied their needlework skills at The Navy Yard--once the sole province of men--to sew canvas gunpowder bags for the troops. Cokie Roberts chronicles these women's increasing independence, their political empowerment, their indispensable role in keeping the Union unified through the war, and in helping heal it once the fighting was done. She concludes that the war not only changed Washington, it also forever changed the place of women. Sifting through newspaper articles, government records, and private letters and diaries--many never before published--Roberts brings the war-torn capital into focus through the lives of its formidable women.

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