Women of the Blue and Gray: True Civil War Stories of Mothers, Medics, Soldiers, and Spies


Product Details

Shadow Mountain
Publish Date
6.3 X 1.0 X 9.1 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Marianne Monson is a writer and professor of English with a strong interest in the relationship between literature and history. She teaches Creative Writing at Portland Community College and regularly speaks at writing conferences.


"Finally! The women of the Civil War period receive some strong attention in this excellent collection of biographical sketches. Monson hails from a literary background, and her approach to this enormously overlooked history possesses a dramatic narrative appeal that reflects her novelist expertise. By covering a wide range of the female experience, from soldiers and spies to nurses, diarists, activists, and even a military strategist, Monson succeeds impressively in her mission to consider as many wartime female perspectives as possible. The diversity of her subjects is also outstanding, with profiles of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Native American women. The background provided for each biographical category is also illuminating, and readers will delight in the utter absence of dull language. History-loving book clubs will find much to discuss here, and students of all ages (especially of women's
history) will find it an excellent resource. Don't dismiss this as a routine resource: Women of the Blue and Gray is full of surprises."-- "Booklist" (7/6/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"Monson is an excellent storyteller whose research fills in the gaps regarding women and the Civil War in Women of the Blue and Gray, centering on those who rebelled against expectations. The book covers those who flouted norms to participate in the war...Monson captures these women in vivid historical scenes. The women themselves speak though quotes from their writings, speeches and letters. They are portrayed in terrifically difficult situations, bringing depth and life to the historical record. While women of both the North and the South are represented, the book takes a clear and worthwhile stance by placing the stories of women of color front and center whenever possible. For adults and teens who want to know more about the American Civil War and women's important and varied roles in it, Women of the Blue and Gray is a powerful book that paints a picture that is at turns inspiring and upsetting."-- "Foreword Reviews" (6/6/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"Solid follow-up to Frontier Grit...the biographies zing with personality and page-turning prose....The thematic chapters cover a variety of topics, including cross-dressing women who served as soldiers, medical care, the experiences of enslaved people, and the Native American women whose home regions became war zones and whose male relatives enlisted on both sides. Entertaining and accessible book is a suitable introduction for readers beginning their foray into Civil War history."
-- "Publishers Weekly" (7/2/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"A unique and exceptional contribution to the growing body of American Civil War literature, Women of the Blue and Gray is very highly recommended."-- "Midwest Book Review" (8/24/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"Brings to light the many ways that women were actively involved in the Civil War. Also of interest to readers will be the chapter titled, "Voices from Slavery," in which two women, whose actions and words helped other women's enslavement become common knowledge. Each chapter includes further reading, along with footnotes, explaining from where each photograph or quote comes. Monson provides a narrative to these women's stories, making sure not to "speak for" anyone who appears within the chapters, but allowing their words to stand on their own and allowing the reader determine their weight."-- "Voice of Youth Advocates" (8/24/2018 12:00:00 AM)