Carol Berkin masterfully presents a glimpse of the lives of the women who were affected by the Revolutionary War through many different eyes, views, and opinions in Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for Independence. She paints a vivid picture in your mind of how the war affected these women by not focusing on one race or political view, but rather through multiple races and political views. Throughout this book, the author describes the women of the Revolution as courageous, yet intelligent, strong, yet resourceful.
In Berkin’s writings, her admiration for these women is apparent. She describes how these women felt as if they new that they had very important roles in the war, however they didn’t see them as much more than supporting the men who actually were meant to run the country. As strong willed as many of these women were, they made weak attempts at equal rights during these male dominated times. This book was given validity through supporting texts. Berkin used other authors such as Elizabeth Ellet to drive her points home.
She is able to give even more personal insight from letter correspondences as well as diaries from women who were caught up in the midst of these times. Finally, Berkin uses documents such as the Philipsburg Proclamation, the Edenton Resolves, and the Book of Negroes as a foundation to much of the support or neglect thereof for the Americans. I believe that the author did an outstanding job of presenting the information in this book. Many authors would have tried to intertwine these women’s stories in order to make the story more interesting as a whole.
Instead she sets aside a chapter to different groups she wants to go into detail discussing. For instance, she doesn’t try to compare and contrast the women who were on the home front to the women who followed the armies. Instead, she helps you realize the importance of both by devoting time to each group. This allows us to learn more about these women and get a grasp of what they really went through. The multiple number of resources Berkin used keep this book interesting.
She does a good job of making sure there are notes in the back to go along with each chapter in the case that you want to, or need to, learn more about the chapter or to receive expanded content. Also, these notes give you a great resource for continuing your research on that chapters topic. I consider myself somewhat of a history buff. I had learned much about the wars and causes of the Revolutionary War. I had seen many documentaries about the war. This book however lent it’s hand to a completely different side of the war.
You never learn about the women who are left at home, nor the women who follow the armies, nor the women who were acting as spies. My knowledge has been impacted greatly by this book. My eyes have been opened to a whole new side of the war that you never even knew existed. Overall I believe this book was a great, and relevant book for this course. I think it was interesting as a whole because of the extensive resources Berkin used. I will admit that there were some dry parts that I had to work my way through, but the knowledge gained was worth the fighting through.