Catherine Clinton

Catherine Clinton

Dr. Catherine Clinton is a pioneering historian of the American South and the Civil War.  She is the author or editor of 25 books, including The Plantation Mistress: Woman’s World in the Old South; The Other Civil War: American Women in the Nineteenth Century; Southern Families at War: Loyalty and Conflict in the Civil War South; and Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom.
Her books Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War and Mrs. Lincoln: A Life are among several that have been History Book Club selections. 

Dr. Clinton also has written history books for children, presented at numerous academic conferences, and served as a consultant to Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln.  In 2015-16, Dr. Clinton will hold the prestigious position of president of the Southern Historical Association.  Dr. Clinton earned her B.A. from Harvard, her M.A. from the University of Sussex, and her Ph.D. from Princeton. She has taught previously at the Citadel, Wesleyan, Brandeis, and she holds a research position at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she taught from 2006-2014.

Tara Revisited

Women, War, and the Plantation Legend

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Cutting through romantic myth, this captivating volume combines period photographs and illustrations with new documentary sources to tell the real story of Southern women during the Civil War.

Drawing from a wealth of poignant letters, diaries, slave narratives, and other accounts, Catherine Clinton provides a vivid social and cultural history of the diverse communities of Southern women during the Civil War: the heroic African-American women who struggled for freedom, the tireless nurses who faced gruesome duties, the intriguing handful who donned uniforms, and those brave women who spied and even died for the Confederacy. Photographs, drawings, prints, and other period illustrations bring this buried chapter of Civil War history to life, taking the reader from the cotton fields to the hearthsides, from shrapnel-riddled mansions to slave cabins.

Clinton places these women within the context of war, illuminating both legendary and anonymous women along the way.Tracing oral traditions and Southern literature from Reconstruction through our era, the author demonstrates how a deadly mix of sentiment and fabrication perpetuates tales of idyllic plantations inhabited by benevolent masters and contented slaves.

The book concludes with Clinton's perceptive and often witty discussion of how, over the years, we continue to embrace mythic figures like Scarlett and Mammy in aspects of popular culture ranging from Hollywood epics to pancake syrup.

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