In this Book

summary

In this comprehensive history of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), one of the oldest and most important women’s organizations in United States history, Simon Wendt shows how the DAR’s efforts to keep alive the memory of the nation’s past were entangled with and strengthened the nation’s racial and gender boundaries.

Taking a close look at the DAR’s mission of bolstering national loyalty, Wendt reveals paradoxes and ambiguities in its activism. While the Daughters engaged in patriotic actions long believed to be the domain of men and challenged male-centered accounts of US nation-building, their tales about the past reinforced traditional notions of femininity and masculinity, reflecting a belief that any challenge to these conventions would jeopardize the country’s stability. Similarly, they frequently voiced support for inclusive civic nationalism but deliberately shaped historical memory to consolidate white supremacy.

Using archival sources from across the country, Wendt focuses on the DAR’s most visible work after its founding in 1890—its commemorations of the American Revolution, western expansion, and Native Americans. He also explores the organization’s post–World War II history, a time that saw major challenges to its conservative vision of America’s “imagined community.” This book sheds new light on the remarkable agency and cultural authority of conservative white women in the twentieth century.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Figures
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-15
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  1. 1. "Woman Proved Herself Man's Helpmate": Nationalism, Gender, and the Memory of the American Revolution
  2. pp. 16-57
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  1. 2. "A Long and Mighty Race of Heroic Men": Remembering the Pioneers and American Nation-Building
  2. pp. 58-93
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  1. 3. "Let Us Clasp Hands, Red Man and White Man": The DAR and the American Indian
  2. pp. 94-126
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  1. 4. "Conserve the Sources of Our Race in the Anglo-Saxon Line": African Americans, New Immigrants, and Ethnic Nationalism
  2. pp. 127-161
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  1. 5. "I Wanted It to Change and to Make Up for Its Past": The Daughters between 1945 and 2000
  2. pp. 162-204
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 205-210
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 211-256
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 257-274
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 275-284
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813057613
Related ISBN
9780813066608
MARC Record
OCLC
1154074787
Pages
296
Launched on MUSE
2020-08-30
Language
English
Open Access
No
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