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Book Reviews133 people rather than plants. For a briefmoment in 1 745, the botanist became a social critic lamenting the divisions between what he saw as the nation's three classes, the first focused upon "laying up large estates," the second concerned with "spending in Luxury all they can come at," and the third dedicated to "hard labour" so as to create a "modérât & happy maintainance ofthairfamily" (p. 252). Only this latter class received the approval of America's first Quaker botanist. Hiram CollegeNancy F. Rosenberg Peace as a Women 's Issue: A History ofthe U.S. Movementfor World Peace and Women's Rights. By Harriet Hyman Alonso. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1993. xix + 340 pp. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, and index. Paper, $17.95; cloth, $39.95. Until recently, historians afforded little attention to women's role in the American peace movement. The past fifteen years, however, have witnessed the emergence of a significant body of scholarship on the subject. Now, with the publication of Harriet Hyman Alonso's Peace as a Women 's Issue, the field has reached a new plateau. Alonso's survey of feminist peace organizations in the United States quite simply represents the most important work on American women and peace published to date. Alonso focuses on separate women's organizations committed to both women's rights and peace, and primarily on "women who came to the peace movement through suffragist organizations" (p. 5). She acknowledges the accomplishments and ideas of nineteenth-century activists, but really begins her study with the creation ofthe Woman's Peace Party (WPP) in 1915. She then proceeds to keep its successor, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), at the center of her narrative, though the work of other organizations receives attention. The author's decision to allow WILPF "to exemplify the major theme of suffragist women's rights" (p. 8) makes good sense. The reform efforts of WILPF serve as the organizational thread that binds the book together. Alonso demonstrates that separate women's peace organizations were not simply pacifist societies that happened to be composed ofwomen. Throughout the book, she emphasizes the "uniqueness" of"perception and behavior" that mothers or potential mothers brought to gender-restricted groups. Her argument on gender differences is convincing. However, this focus on separate activism does make for a selective examination offemale pacifism. Reform efforts that predated 1915 are treated as mere precursors to the rise of an "independent feminist peace movement " (p. 20). Alonso does note the importance ofthe Quaker faith and its female members in paving the way for twentieth-century groups. But she does not examine their ideas or reform efforts in any depth. In fact, the work of many exceptional women—including a notable cohort of Quakers—who belonged to various national and local groups, receives scant attention because these organizations included both men and women. Similarly, reform efforts carried out under the auspices ofthepeace and arbitration departments ofwomen's organizations are mentioned only briefly, though the women in question were clearly engaged in separate political activism. But the selective nature of Harriet Alonso's approach hardly detracts from this well researched, important book. On the contrary, narrowing the focus renders 134Quaker History Peace as a Women 's Issue a well organized, cogent, and exceedingly useful survey ofthe ideas, accomplishments, and failures of separate women's peace activism. Slippery Rock UniversityJohn M. Craig Sojourner Truth: Slave, Prophet, Legend. By Carleton Mabee with Susan Mabee Newhouse. New York: New York University Press. 1993. xvi + 293 pp. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, and index. $35.00. , Truth may be coming back, Sojourner, that is, and Mabee may be the first of three packages in which Truth returns. In fact, in Truth, institutions such as the Claremont colleges have found a reason to sponsor an annual lecture "in honor of American Black women." It is not surprising then that several of America's most talented scholars are turning their attention to a re-examination ofwho Sojourner Truth was, in fact, as well as in mythology. Mabee's contribution to the conversation is a fascinating way to "do" history: very old fashioned. This is the kind ofhistory "no one does anymore...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 133-134
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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