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Koinonia has long deserved a careful scholarly study, and KMeyer has answered diat need. Her study sheds Hght on the role of those whites in the civU rights struggle who, unHke many timid soudiern white Hberals who supported gradual race reform, envisioned profound and immediate transformation. Her book also is a valuable contribution to the scholarship on intentional communities . FinaUy, Interracialism and Christian Community in the PostwarSouth inspires a degree of hope about the possibiUties for social redemption in the United States. The response of Koinonia's white neighbors to the community teaches skepticism about the cultural resources that can be marshaled for radical chaUenges in die South. Yet much in die story of Koinonia also encourages the certainty that visionaries Hke Jordan, even in die face of violence and faüure, wül try to wrest new truths from their own heritage and wiU courageously take up the chaUenge ofbuUding an earthly paradise. Southern Strategies Southern Women and the Woman Suffrage Question By Elna C. Green University ofNorth Carolina Press, 1997 287 pp. Cloth, $45.00; paper, $16.95 Reviewed by Pamela Tyler, associate professor ofhistory at North Carolina State University. Professor Tyler teaches courses on U.S. women's history and is die audior oíSilk Stockings andBallot Boxes: Women and Politics in New Orleans, 1920-1963. She is currendy researching a book on Eleanor Roosevelt and the South. Professors who teach "the American survey," an introductory course in U.S. history designed to cover broad segments of the nation's past by noting general themes and trends, frequendy end dieir remarks by saying "except, of course, in the South." This weU-known phenomenon of southern exceptionaHsm means that every significant development at the national level (progressivism, popuHsm, the New Deal, for example) provides fertile ground for study in its soudiern manifestation. Nowhere is this truer than in the study ofwomen's experience. A quarter of a century ago, when historians began to probe the rich veins of buried treasure that constitute women's history, their attention initiaUy centered on women in the urban Northeast, providing us scholarship on Catharine Beecher's career, the Salem witchcraft episodes, women's work in the early New 78 Reviews England mills, women's participation in the abolition movement, and the development ofa distinctive women's culture, to mention a few pioneering topics. The woman suffrage movement came in for analysis as well. But as Elna Green ably demonstrates in her splendid book, Southern Strategies, southern culture and politics stamped that movement in the South and rendered it different in significant ways from the national suffrage movement. The suffrage impulse came late to the South because women's participation in reform movements developed late. Green describes in detail how die generation ofa critical mass ofindustrial and urban problems in the New South spurred progressivism and led to the enlistment of women as participants in the effort to tame and civilize industrial capitalism and its attendant evils. From lobbying the legislature and trying to influence husbands and fathers to enact reforms, women shifted to a demand for the ballot for themselves. The catalysts for suffragism among southern women, as Green sees them, were higher education (at bona fide colleges as opposed to more conservative female academies or seminaries), experience with paid work, and participation in voluntary associations and the progressive movement. Because southern women experienced these phenomena later than dieir northern sisters, suffragism bloomed later in Dixie. Obviously, suffragism failed to attract all women, and Green does a masterful job of explaining the pivotal role women played in antisuffragism. The effort to reject suffrage for women was not a male conspiracy foisted on unwilling women. Here the impressive depth of Green's research becomes apparent. She consulted archival sources in most of the southern states, enabling her to compile biographical data about 800 southern suffragists and antisuffragists, a comparative prosopography that demonstrates the importance of the planter tradition in southern antisuffragism. Not only were there strong ties between the planter class and antisuffragism; women associated with manufacturing and commençai elites were also likely to oppose woman suffrage. In choosing class identity over gender solidarity, antisuffrage women registered their fear, shared by men...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 78-80
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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