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The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe: A Biography


In the “riveting” (The New York Times Book Review), “unfailingly vivid” (The Atlantic) and “invigorating” (O, The Oprah MagazineThe Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe, esteemed author Elaine Showalter tells the story of Howe’s determined self-creation and brings to life the society she inhabited and the obstacles she overcame. The Civil War challenged nineteenth-century ideas of separate spheres for men and women. In Howe’s case, this transformation led to a rebellion against her marriage. She fought a second Civil War at home and discovered ways to combine domestic chores with creativity and politics, and she helped establish Mother’s Day to honor women and to recruit them to her causes.

Did you know that Julia Ward Howe advocated unsuccessfully for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” that would be celebrated every year in June?  To learn more, check out this History Byte.

By Elaine Showalter. Published by Simon & Schuster, 2017. 328 pages, paperback.