I read a book in the early nineties that made me love history. After reading the book, I even believed I might want to be a history teacher so that I could make history come alive the way this one book did for me. The book was A Midwives Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. This one book illustrated the years following the American Revolution in a way that I never imagined--all through the very ordinary life of a New England midwife. I don't think I had ever before had the women's perspective. Since that time, I have sought out other historical texts and diaries, but none have had the effect of that one book.
Fast forward ten years. I bought a bumper sticker for my car which I have been sporting on my purple minivan or at least 4 years that says: Well-behaved Women Rarely Make History. Only today, while visiting my new favorite blog http://www.feministing.com/ did I make the connection. That quote is by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the author of A Midwives Tale. Ulrich has a new book out. The title of the book is the same as the quote on my car. My book budget is bare bones these days, but I am hopeful I can get my hands on Well-behaved Women Rarely Make History some way or another.
Sometimes information in my life spirals around in a way that is very cool.