Dr. Mary Walker: An American Radical, 1832-1919 (Hardcover)

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A suffragist who wore pants. This is just the simplest of ways Dr. Mary Walker is recognized in the fields of literature, feminist and gender studies, history, psychology, and sociology.

Perhaps more telling about her life are the words of an 1866 London Anglo-American Times reporter, "Her strange adventures, thrilling experiences, important services and marvelous achievements exceed anything that modern romance or fiction has produced. . . . She has been one of the greatest benefactors of her sex and of the human race."

In this biography Sharon M. Harris steers away from a simplistic view and showcases Walker as a Medal of Honor recipient, examining her work as an activist, author, and Civil War surgeon, along with the many nineteenth-century issues she championed:political, social, medical, and legal reforms, abolition, temperance, gender equality, U.S. imperialism, and the New Woman.

Rich in research and keyed to a new generation, Dr. Mary Walker captures its subject's articulate political voice, public self, and the realities of an individual whose ardent beliefs in justice helped shape the radical politics of her time.

About the Author

Sharon M. Harris is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She is the author of several books, among them Executing Race: Early Women's Narratives of Race, Society, and the Law, and the coeditor of the forthcoming Feminist Reader.

Praise For…

"The work is comprehensive—Harris portrays Walker as a Civil War surgeon, women's rights activist, legal and dress reformer, and Medal of Honor recipient—and interdisciplinary scholarship makes the volume relevant to many academic fields. Highly recommended."

— Choice

"Harris's new biography of this indefatigable nineteenth-century activist presents a richly detailed account of Walker's engagement with myriad reform movements of the period. Her lucidly written, meticulously researched study captures the combination of moral purpose, extraordinary self-confidence, and sheer gumption that propelled Walker into a life of public service and controversy."

— Legacy

"Inspirational. Dr. Mary Walker is a plethora of facts, evidence, and tightly woven themes that are well-researched."

— Feminist Review

"Sharon Harris has produced a carefully researched biography of a remarkable nineteenth-century woman."

— New England Quarterly

"The nation's first female army surgeon, a pants-wearing divorcee, and the only woman ever to receive a Medal of Honor, Mary Walker was a plucky character and a courageous reformer. She agitated for abolition, women's rights and dress reform throughout her life, taking each disappointment and turning it to new success. In this in-depth biography, Sharon Harris offers us the life and motivating passions of this overlooked and important feminist activist, who throughout her life braved arrests and public scorn to win the career she wanted, and to lecture and lobby for a better world for women.

— Dana D. Nelson

"Harris provides a more scholarly biography than any of those published so far; she has done copious original research that yields new insights into Walker's life and that makes this work authoritative."

— Cynthia J. Davis
Product Details
ISBN: 9780813546117
ISBN-10: 0813546117
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: October 30th, 2009
Pages: 330
Language: English