Revolutionary Mothers Review Essay
Carol Berkin’s “Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence” is an excellent book that I immensely enjoyed - Revolutionary Mothers Review Essay introduction. When many people think of the Revolutionary War, they might imagine George Washington gallantly leading his men through the winters at Valley Forge or the like. Berkin begins her masterpiece by giving a general overview of the roll that women played in our countries war for independence. Now I, like many others come to think of the iconic role model women like Betsy Ross and the fabled Molly Pitcher, but this star of a book opened my eyes to the everyday revolutionary woman.
The running theme throughout the book is the fact that women during the revolutionary war were notable participants on many levels deemed beyond worthy of admiration. This theme was not touted, but elegantly weaved throughout the text in stories of women that left a permanent mark on war effort regardless of race or creed. Within this book we get the sense that Carol Berkin, a college level history professor in New York values the true history of the war. Instead of spouting fiction about Molly Pitcher and her so-called her heroism, she sought family stories on women like Esther Reed.
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There are also excerpts from published anonymous poetry in the newspapers from women exercising their voices. Tracking down letters women wrote their family members or journals from these revolutionary women lend further credence to the factual nature of the information contained in this book. Additionally, much information was also gathered from families whose ancestors lived during the revolutionary war. Like any story game youngsters play in school the family history changes and gains a life all its own as passed through the generations.
This would be the only aspect of the information in the book that could be considered factual exaggeration stories. Our author seems to do an excellent job of filtering out the stories that seem illogical and ill-fitting the time that the book is discussing. Not only does Berkin discuss the staunch patriot, on the side of righteousness but that of the loyalist and African American or Native American. I would tend to think that the simple act of the author discussing and telling histories on either side of the war only adds to the reliability of the information in the book.
Overall the information contained within the pages of this spellbinding book present an eye opening historical section of our history. The information presented by this respected historian appears on all accounts to be factual to the best of ability. After reading “Revolutionary Mothers: Women in Struggle for America’s Independence” I now see the great importance that women played in the forming of this nation despite their lack of rights, political and voting recognition during these times.
Lastly, the readability of this book is amazing. The information is presented well that is laid out in an organized manner. Due to the many different aspects and sides to the women discussed in the book there are sections laid out devoted to specific loyalties people and race. The tone of the book is pleasantly understood, so that many people of many different education levels are able to appreciate the information presented by Carol Berkin. The reader is immediately drawn in to the general overview located in the preface.
Further on in the book Berkin is able to personalize the information so that the reader is able to place themselves into the lives of those in history. I have always been a lover of history, and especially historical documentaries so this book was an easy read. This author was entertaining and insightful with the historical information that was unique. I had never heard that the patriot women were at times used to seduce loyalist officers in hopes of gaining pertinent information.
I found that this book has a great amount of information to offer any reader. Carol Berkin has definitely written a great book that I would recommend to other students or family members. The information within this book and how well it is presented makes me want to recommend this book to others. Some authors are not able to present a well balanced side to a historical event, but Berkin succeeds. I have already recommended this book to my husband who is also a lover of history.