Keep the Days : Reading the Civil War Diaries of Southern Women

TitleKeep the Days : Reading the Civil War Diaries of Southern Women
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsStowe, Steve
Number of Pages228
PublisherUniversity of North Carolina Press
CityChapel Hill, NC

Delving into several familiar wartime diaries kept by women of the southern slave-owning class in the US Civil War, Steven Stowe recaptures their motivations to keep the days close even as war tore apart the brutal system of slavery that had benefited them. Whether the diarists recorded thoughts about themselves, their opinions about men, or their observations about slavery, race, and warfare, Stowe shows how these women, by writing the immediate moment, found meaning in a changing world. In studying the inner lives of these unsympathetic characters, Stowe also explores the importance—and the limits—of historical empathy as a condition for knowing the past, demonstrating how these plain, first-draft texts can offer new ways to make sense of the world in which these Confederate women lived. (UNC Press)

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