Saturday, March 08, 2014

Telling HerStory 2014: Pioneer Women by Joanna L. Stratton

The Book:

Pioneer Women. Voices from the Kansas Frontier by Joanna L. Stratton

What's it about:

Autobiographical accounts of eight hundred women. Here are stories of what it was like to be a pioneer including "prairie fires, locust plagues...the drama, danger and excitement of the pioneer experience."

Why you should read it:

In his Introduction to this book, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.  writes, "History is lived in the main by the unknown and forgotten. But historian perforce concentrate on the happy few who leave records, give speeches, write books, make fortunes, hold offices, win or lose battles and thrones...Modern social historians devise brand new techniques, quantitative and other, to achieve what Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie has called "the silent,  mathematical resurrection of a total past.""

That's genealogy, resurrecting the past of those who are unknown and forgotten. This book gives voice to some of those who would otherwise be relegated to the forgotten.

Don't forget to check out the Appendix for a list of those 800 women's names, their emigration date, age at emigration and the source for their story from the Kansas State Historical Society's Lilla Day Monroe Collection.

Additional resources:

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