When Hens Crow: The Woman's Rights Movement in Antebellum America

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9780253328809: When Hens Crow: The Woman's Rights Movement in Antebellum America

In 1852 the New York Daily Herald described leaders of the woman's rights movement as ""hens that crow."" Using speeches, pamphlets, newspaper reports, editorials, and personal papers, Sylvia Hoffert discusses how ideology, language, and strategies of early woman's rights advocates influenced a new political culture grudgingly inclusive of women. She shows the impact of philosophies of republicanism, natural rights, utilitarianism, and the Scottish Common Sense School in helping activists move beyond the limits of Republican Motherhood and the ideals of domesticity and benevolence.

When Hens Crow also illustrates the work of the penny press in spreading the demands of woman's rights advocates to a wide audience, establishing the competence of women to contribute to public discourse and public life.

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About the Author:

Sylvia Hoffert is Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has recently completed a textbook entitled Gender in American Life: A History and is now engaged in a research project on Jane Grey Swisshelm, a nineteenth-century abolitionist and feminist newspaper editor. Hoffert has published articles on Swisshelm in Western Historical Quarterly and Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies.

Review:

"Hoffert makes a significant contribution to the study of the ideological origins of American feminism in her brilliant synthesis of the disparate elements that early American activists brought together to consolidate their intellectual progression beyond Republican motherhood...Scholars and students will turn to this work for many years." American Historical Review "[When Hens Crow] looks in an original way at the ideas of the first feminists...a pioneering work, written in a clear style and firmly grounded in recent scholarship on the history of discourse, poststructuralism, and sociolinguistics."-Journal of American History "...challenges conventional interpretations of the intellectual roots of the movement and provides new insights into the leaders' strategies for promoting their ideas." Illinois Historical Journal "...a highly readable survey that is compact and comprehensible in its treatment of the early women's rights movement in the US." Choice "Finally we have in one highly readable volume a compact yet comprehensive survey of the early women's rights movement in the United States."- Ruth Bloch, UCLA

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