Thursday, August 27, 2009

Learning from Our Foremothers

Although I initially got into gardening because Long's had an amazing blowout sale on pots, gardening quickly became a necessary part of my life. After long hours of reading very detailed history books or listening to the same word repeated over and over by my Arabic CD, I could run downstairs and play with my plants. The smell of crushed basil on my hands and the coolness of hose water on my feet would refresh my mind and give me the focus I needed to head back upstairs and hit the books some more.

As a result of this pattern of plants and books, I have come to see the two as closely linked, so today I am going to recommend a book to you all. Since wars often interest people, and I assume that most of the people reading this are female, my first book recommendation is Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence by Carol Berkin. This little paperback is a quick read with big print. Each chapter covers a different type of woman (loyalist, revolutionary, African American, Native American, etc.) and that groups experience during the war. Berkin uses a lot of primary source quotes from the women who lived through the trials and tribulations that war brings and many of the stories are as heart wrenching as they are inspiring. A slight word of caution though, the quotes do make the book linger with the reader. I would not read this right before bed. Definitely a good read for anyone interested in either the female experience or the Revolutionary period.

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