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Keep the Days: Reading the Civil War Diaries of Southern Women by Steven M. Stowe (review)

Keep the Days: Reading the Civil War Diaries of Southern Women by Steven M. Stowe (review) Keep the Days: Reading the Civil War Diaries of Southern Women. By Steven M. Stowe. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018. Pp. 228. Cloth, $90.00; paper, $29.95.) If you pick up this book, as I did, with the expectation of reading a sub- stantive treatment of Confederate women and their experiences during the Civil War, you will be disappointed. The book is about diary keeping, about the relationship between the diaries and their authors, but mostly it’s about the author’s imagined connection to the diaries and the women who kept them. Steven M. Stowe, eminent scholar of the American South, seeks a way to connect with, to empathize with, and to understand a group of women whose values—foremost, ownership in humans—differ so starkly from his own. Thus the journey Stowe tells in this book is a personal one for him, one that allows him to better understand the world in which these women lived as well as his own: “I look to empathy to reveal ways I can think about myself as living and writing in my own time” (xi). His missives about the women and his attempt to make sense of their compulsion to record their http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Keep the Days: Reading the Civil War Diaries of Southern Women by Steven M. Stowe (review)

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

Keep the Days: Reading the Civil War Diaries of Southern Women. By Steven M. Stowe. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018. Pp. 228. Cloth, $90.00; paper, $29.95.) If you pick up this book, as I did, with the expectation of reading a sub- stantive treatment of Confederate women and their experiences during the Civil War, you will be disappointed. The book is about diary keeping, about the relationship between the diaries and their authors, but mostly it’s about the author’s imagined connection to the diaries and the women who kept them. Steven M. Stowe, eminent scholar of the American South, seeks a way to connect with, to empathize with, and to understand a group of women whose values—foremost, ownership in humans—differ so starkly from his own. Thus the journey Stowe tells in this book is a personal one for him, one that allows him to better understand the world in which these women lived as well as his own: “I look to empathy to reveal ways I can think about myself as living and writing in my own time” (xi). His missives about the women and his attempt to make sense of their compulsion to record their

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 2, 2020

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