In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

ofhand wringing and complaint. The argument in favor ofthis approach was and is that the only way to teU the story ofslave women—clearly the story that most needs telling—is to teU it as a story that first recognizes the difference based on race and class. But is there somewhere to go after we have turned the race and class tables, after we have deconstructed white women's claims to valor and constructed blackwomen's claims to the same? Again Glymph's essay points theway, in her focus on African American women's contribution as women, as the mothers of their chüdren, the wives of their husbands, die caretakers of their famUies. Here Joan Cashin's essay, "Into the Trackless WUderness: The Refugee Experience in the CivU War," picks up this theme and thereby points the way for the study of Confederate women as weU. It opens witii the story of a refugee Confederate woman burying her two chUdren in an unmarked grave at the side ofdie road, not unHke the way Glymph's essay closes with freedwomen's experience of having their chüdren swept down river and drowned as they attempted to foUow Sherman's March through Georgia. Cashin reminds us that for Confederate women, as for slave women, the war was about a struggle to preserve their relations to those nearest and dearest them, especiaUy their children. Both essays remind us that whUe we need to further our understanding of the ways in which slavery divided women, and the manner in which war itselfwidened and intensified diat divide, we also need to see the underlying commonaHty thatgender roles created. How to teU the story ofthe war in a way that includes bodi race and class widiout dismissing gender is the central chaUenge for historians of the CivU War and of the South more generaUy. This coUection of essays certainly offers a fine beginning—a beginning, however, that begs for further research, thought, and discussion. A Socialist Utopia in the New South The Ruskin Colonies in Tennessee and Georgia, 1 894-1901 By W Fitzhugh Brundage University of IUinois Press, 1996 263 pp. Paper, $16.95 Reviewed by Christopher H. Owen, associate professor of history at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and author of The Sacred Fhme ofLove: Methodism and Society in Nineteenth-Century Georgia. 72 Reviews W Fitzhugh Brundage has written a worthwhUe monograph thoroughly analyzing the history of the Ruskin communities. Though lacking the drama of his award-winning Lynching in the New South, his most recent book teUs a fascinating tale. BuUding on the scholarly insights of Robert S. Fogarty and Edward S. Spann, Brundage argues rhat communitarian sociaHsm had considerable vitaHty in the late-nineteenth-century United States. In fact, Brundage notes that Americans actually created more cooperative communities between 1870 and 1900 than in the heyday of Jacksonian utopianism. The story of Ruskin becomes worthwhUe, then, not simply on its own merits but also because ofits larger social impHcations. Ruskin began in the mind ofJuHus Wayland, a businessman, poHtician, and journaHst. An energetic advocate of sociaHsm, Wayland pushed die communitarian idea forward in his newspaper, The ComingNation. EventuaUy Wayland and his associates estabHshed the Ruskin community in a remote area of middle Tennessee . Most who answered Wayland's caU were married, native-born AngloAmericans from rural areas of the Northeast and Midwest. Though generaUy committed to some notion of"sociaHsm," colonists often supported a wide variety ofother ideas, ranging from popuHsm to theosophy. The Ruskinites tried to create a freer and more equitable human environment, but they never rid themselves oftraditional habits and preconceptions. Liberated from domestic drudgery by communal housework, for example, women at Ruskin experienced more freedom and greater cultural opportunities than they were used to. But work remained gender-segregated, as individuals worked at jobs they already knew. The Ruskinites developed various sociaHzed industries, including the processing of foods and manufacturing of apparel, but none were successful. At the center of Ruskin's economic Ufe was The Coming Nation, but difficulties arose here as weU when Wayland attempted to run the paper as a private business. Residents estabHshed a thriving school that taught lessons from the perspective...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 72-75
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.