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Book Reviews New Directions in the Gendered Study of Peace, Social Violence, Militarism, and War Valarie H. Ziegler. The Advocates of Peace in Antebellum America. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1992. xi + 241 pp.; bibl; index. ISBN 0-253-36864-2 (cl); $35.00. Harriet Hyman Alonso. Peace as a Women's Issue: A History of the U.S. Movement for World Peace and Women's Rights. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1993. xix + 340 pp; illus; appendixes; bibl; index. 0-8156-2565-0 (cl); 0-8156-0269-3 (pb); $39.95 (cl); $17.95 (pb). Amy Swerdlow. Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.450 pp. (est.); illus; bibl; index. 0-226-78635-8 (cl); 0-226-78636 (pb); $45.00 (cl); $19.95 (pb). Margaret Hope Bacon. One Woman's Passion for Peace and Freedom: The Life of Mildred Scott Olmsted. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1993. xix + 414 pp.; 30 illus, index. 0-8156-0270-7 (cl); $34.95. Louise Krasniewicz. Nuclear Summer: The Clash of Communities at the Seneca Women's Peace Encampment. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992. xiii + 259 pp; illus; bibl; index. 0-8014-2635-9 (cl); 0-8014-9938-0 (pb); $45.00 (cl); $14.95 (pb). Jean Bethke Elshtain and Sheila Tobias, eds. Women, Militarism, and War: Essays in History, Politics, and Social Theory. Savage, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1990. xii + 272 pp.; index. 0-84767469 -X (cl); 0-8476-7470-3 (pb); $48.00 (cl); $23.50 (pb). Frances Early In 1967, Women Strike for Peace spokesperson Dagmar Wilson challenged a Washington Post reporter to reach toward a new understanding of Vietnam: "You have no idea of who the enemy is—the enemy is war and violence" (quoted in Swerdlow, p. 218). The books reviewed here span diverse subject matter and represent the work of scholars in a variety of disciplines. Yet with the exception of Valarie Ziegler's book, which is somewhat tangential thematically to the others, they all share an appreciation of the way in which women have sought to question, reshape, and even transcend established authority structures, particularly institutions and patterns of thought that legitimize war and social inequalities within © 1994 Journal of Women's History, Vol 6 No. ι (Spring) 76 Journal of Women's History Spring the larger framework of a patriarchal, racist state. These studies bring important chapters of women's history out of the shadows of neglect and elucidate a long, largely unbroken tradition of creative peace work hitherto scarcely recognized. Each scholar's work attests in some way to the importance of engendering the study of history and contemporary social movements . Furthermore, these books demonstrate that feminist theory-building in relation to questions of peace and war has always been integral to women's peace and social justice work. Valarie Ziegler's study examines the beginnings of mixed-gender peace reform organizations in the United States. Ziegler, a religious studies scholar, analyzes the underlying assumptions and values guiding peace activism in the antebellum era in order to understand the bifurcation of the peace movement into moderate cultural Christians in the American Peace Society (founded 1828) and the radical sectarian nonresistants of the New England Non-Resistant Society (founded in 1838 as a splitaway group of the parent American Peace Society). She uncovers two conflicting theological tenets, an ethic of coercion (cultural Christian) and an ethic of love (sectarian nonresistant), both of which she locates within mainstream nineteenth-century evangelical theology. Ziegler also demonstrates two differing temperaments which roughly approximate the cultural Christian /sectarian nonresistant polarity in the organizational structure of the peace movement. Concentrating for the most part on male leadership styles and thought, she argues that articulate members of the American Peace Society such as Noah Worcester epitomized "the confident Christian" who believed in the ability of people like themselves to convince public opinion that war was wrong and could be abolished through established institutional channels. However, Worcester and others like him were willing under certain circumstances to subscribe to an ethic of coercion : violent means were sometimes necessary to order society as they saw fit. In contrast to such individuals, members of the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 75-86
Launched on MUSE
2010-03-25
Open Access
No
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