Tue March 20, 2012
"Clarina Howard Nichols and the Politics of Motherhood" (Encore presentation.)
On today's program, an encore broadcast of a show that first aired back in November, we hear from Kristen Oertel, who holds the Barnard Chair in 19th-Century American History here at the University of Tulsa. Oertel has co-written a new and award-winning book (just out from the University Press of Kansas) called "Frontier Feminist: Clarina Howard Nichols and the Politics of Motherhood." It's a remarkable biography of a little-remembered yet vitally important American woman who meaningfully participated in several of the crucial social/political movements of her time. As another academic (Carol Faulkner, author of "Women's Radical Reconstruction: The Freedmen's Aid Movement") has noted of this volume: "[It's] a beautifully written and captivating account of a nineteenth-century woman whose life intersected with and influenced some of the most important moments in American history. The authors not only make an important contribution to the history of women's rights, westward expansion, and violent conflict over slavery, but they also tell a great story about an interesting and complicated woman, her desire to shape the nation, and the costs of such a career in the nineteenth century. [This is] an outstanding biography of interest to general readers as well as scholars."