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Women's Antislavery Organizations in Antebellum America
Beth A. Salerno
"Makes an important contribution to this dynamic field of inquiry. In addition to providing an impressive account of women's antislavery groups, [Salerno's] book reminds us that historigraphical debates over antebellum women are far from finished."—American Historical Review
"A valuable contribution ... deepens our understanding of the complex political and social world of activist women over the course of several decades."—Gender & History
"[An] important effort... concise and readable."—Choice
Many nineteenth-century women got their first taste of political activism in small-town societies advocating temperance and other moral causes. Alongside national organizations with charismatic male leaders, these grassroots efforts by ordinary women helped to bring about social reform, change the meaning of political action and, in the process, redefine gender roles. Significantly, women moved from behind-the-scenes moral suasion into the political arena at a time when the question of slavery in the United States was developing from a humanitarian concern into a hotly contested partisan issue. Society met women's entrance into political antislavery with mobs, riots, and sharp debate.
(2005) 243 pp., notes, bibliography, index
Beth A Salerno is Associate Professor of History at Saint Anselm College.
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