Revolutionary Mothers

Written by Carol Berkin
Review by Cindy Vallar

Americans tend to think of the War for Independence as a revolution, but in reality it was a civil war. Many men participants are well known, but not so the women. Berkin rectifies this oversight by examining first the role women played in that period’s society, then showing how they protested English policies, what challenges they faced, why some became camp followers, what effect the generals’ wives had on the soldiers, what loyalist women endured, how the war impacted Indian and African-American women, and who fought for and against independence. This well-paced, even, and insightful examination of eighteenth-century women is a worthy resource for learning about ordinary women of the past in their own time period rather than today’s.