Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868
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HarperAudio 2015
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In this engrossing and informative companion to her New York Times bestsellers Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by offering a riveting look at Washington, D.C. and the experiences, influence, and contributions of its women during this momentous period of American history.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social Southern town of Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year battle that would determine the future of the United States.

After the declaration of secession, many fascinating Southern women left the city, leaving their friends—such as Adele Cutts Douglas and Elizabeth Blair Lee—to grapple with questions of safety and sanitation as the capital was transformed into an immense Union army camp and later a hospital. With their husbands, brothers, and fathers marching off to war, either on the battlefield or in the halls of Congress, the women of Washington joined the cause as well. And more women went to the Capital City to enlist as nurses, supply organizers, relief workers, and journalists. Many risked their lives making munitions in a highly flammable arsenal, toiled at the Treasury Department printing greenbacks to finance the war, and plied their needlework skills at The Navy Yard—once the sole province of men—to sew canvas gunpowder bags for the troops.

Cokie Roberts chronicles these women's increasing independence, their political empowerment, their indispensable role in keeping the Union unified through the war, and in helping heal it once the fighting was done. She concludes that the war not only changed Washington, it also forever changed the place of women.

Sifting through newspaper articles, government records, and private letters and diaries—many never before published—Roberts brings the war-torn capital into focus through the lives of its formidable women.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
04/14/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062390271
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        Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. She has won countless awards and in 2008 was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers We Are Our Mothers' Daughters, Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, and, with her husband, the journalist Steven V. Roberts, From This Day Forward and Our Haggadah.

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        Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. She has won countless awards and in 2008 was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers We Are Our Mothers' Daughters, Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, and, with her husband, the journalist Steven V. Roberts, From This Day Forward and Our Haggadah.

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title
Capital Dames
fullDescription

In this engrossing and informative companion to her New York Times bestsellers Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by offering a riveting look at Washington, D.C. and the experiences, influence, and contributions of its women during this momentous period of American history.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social Southern town of Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year battle that would determine the future of the United States.

After the declaration of secession, many fascinating Southern women left the city, leaving their friends—such as Adele Cutts Douglas and Elizabeth Blair Lee—to grapple with questions of safety and sanitation as the capital was transformed into an immense Union army camp and later a hospital. With their husbands, brothers, and fathers marching off to war, either on the battlefield or in the halls of Congress, the women of Washington joined the cause as well. And more women went to the Capital City to enlist as nurses, supply organizers, relief workers, and journalists. Many risked their lives making munitions in a highly flammable arsenal, toiled at the Treasury Department printing greenbacks to finance the war, and plied their needlework skills at The Navy Yard—once the sole province of men—to sew canvas gunpowder bags for the troops.

Cokie Roberts chronicles these women's increasing independence, their political empowerment, their indispensable role in keeping the Union unified through the war, and in helping heal it once the fighting was done. She concludes that the war not only changed Washington, it also forever changed the place of women.

Sifting through newspaper articles, government records, and private letters and diaries—many never before published—Roberts brings the war-torn capital into focus through the lives of its formidable women.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Listeners will enjoy the diverse information packed into this well-done audiobook. Cokie Roberts, writer and narrator, focuses on Mary Todd Lincoln and the wives of significant leaders during and after the Civil War. Her ability to weave information from letters, diaries, and newspapers into a coherent and sometimes humorous whole is marvelous. She showcases the women of the Confederacy, who without legal power, managed to get their husbands better prison accommodations and, in one case, freed from prison using only wit, cunning, and persistence as their weapons. Roberts's pride in these women is clearly expressed in her voice. She exults in their courage. Whether listeners are from the North or South, all will appreciate this first-rate women's history. E.E.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2015

        Emmy Award-winning political commentator Roberts (Ladies of Liberty; Founding Mothers) commemorates the sesquicentennial anniversary of the end of the Civil War with an exploration of the experiences and social, cultural, and political influences of women in war-torn Washington, DC. Covering the late 1840s through the late 1860s, this group biography focuses on 14 prominent political spouses and relatives, seven authors and journalists, and six activists and reformers, with first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, and Confederate spy Rose Greenhow among those featured. Roberts uses these women's intertwined stories to chronicle the war's impact on the capital city from their viewpoints while also describing the broader story of the conflict throughout the fractured nation from their perspectives. The author's extensive research relies heavily on government records, newspaper accounts, and personal letters and diaries, which gives this fresh look at Washington, DC during the Civil War era a sense of intimacy, immediacy, and originality. Roberts concludes her well-written, readable study with a lengthy bibliography and a fascinating epilog featuring summaries of the post-Civil War activities of many of the women portrayed. VERDICT History buffs who enjoyed and learned from Roberts's two previous books on the pivotal roles of women in early America will likely find this volume just as informative and accessible.--Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Political commentator and bestselling author Roberts (Ladies of Liberty: The Women who Shaped our Nation, 2008, etc.) shines a spotlight on the remarkable political, literary, and activist women of Washington, D.C., during the tumult of the Civil War.In her previous books, the author has recounted the changing roles of women and their significant impacts on the nation's growth, and her latest is a natural follow-up. With the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in 2011, Roberts' curiosity was piqued again. "I started wondering whether that horrific conflict had a similar impact on American women's lives," she writes. The author's extensive research included diaries, newspapers, government records, and private correspondence, all of which capture the turmoil, excitement, and heartbreak that transpired in this once-quiet "prewar Capital City." With the onset of the war, Washington evolved into a sprawling Union Army camp and then a reeking, overcrowded military hospital. As a result, some Southern belles fled to Confederate territory. Women shouldered new roles, becoming nurses and forming social service and relief agencies. Some wrote propaganda, and others became spies. Many women moved to Washington to fill positions once held by men. African-American women founded societies to advocate for improved conditions in the camps for displaced slaves. The author's cast of characters is vast, from familiar names to those less well-known, and her detailed, layered narration makes the information fresh and highly relatable. Whether Roberts is relating the confidences between Mary Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth Keckley, the tireless work of abolitionist Josephine Griffing, or the struggles of Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, to secure her dying husband's release from jail, each story widens the historical lens. An enlightening account detailing how the Civil War changed the nation's capital while expanding the role of women in politics, health care, education, and social services. COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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shortDescription

In this engrossing and informative companion to her New York Times bestsellers Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by offering a riveting look at Washington, D.C. and the experiences, influence, and contributions of its women during this momentous period of American history.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social Southern town of Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year battle that would determine the future of the United States.

After the declaration of secession, many fascinating Southern women left the city, leaving their friends—such as Adele Cutts Douglas and Elizabeth Blair Lee—to grapple with questions of safety and sanitation as the capital was transformed into an immense Union army camp and later a hospital. With their husbands, brothers, and fathers marching off to war, either on the battlefield or in the halls of Congress,...

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awards
      • source: The New York Times
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subtitle
The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868
publisher
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