American Jezebel

American Jezebel

By Eve Laplante

  • Release Date: 2010-10-19
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4
4
From 6 Ratings
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Description

In 1637, Anne Hutchinson, a forty-six-year-old midwife who was pregnant with her sixteenth child, stood before forty male judges of the Massachusetts General Court, charged with heresy and sedition. In a time when women could not vote, hold public office, or teach outside the home, the charismatic Hutchinson wielded remarkable political power. Her unconventional ideas had attracted a following of prominent citizens eager for social reform. Hutchinson defended herself brilliantly, but the judges, faced with a perceived threat to public order, banished her for behaving in a manner "not comely for [her] sex."

Written by one of Hutchinson's direct descendants, American Jezebel brings both balance and perspective to Hutchinson's story. It captures this American heroine's life in all its complexity, presenting her not as a religious fanatic, a cardboard feminist, or a raging crank—as some have portrayed her—but as a flesh-and-blood wife, mother, theologian, and political leader. The book narrates her dramatic expulsion from Massachusetts, after which her judges, still threatened by her challenges, promptly built Harvard College to enforce religious and social orthodoxies—making her the mid-wife to the nation's first college. In exile, she settled Rhode Island, becoming the only woman ever to co-found an American colony.

The seeds of the American struggle for women's and human rights can be found in the story of this one woman's courageous life. American Jezebel illuminates the origins of our modern concepts of religious freedom, equal rights, and free speech, and showcases an extraordinary woman whose achievements are astonishing by the standards of any era.

Reviews

  • American Jezebel

    4
    By ET-BI
    Very interesting and well researched history of one of the most important people in American History. Anne Marbury Hutchinson has the Hutchison River and its parkway named after her, but her real contribution is the intellectual history of the country. This contribution stems from her preaching, excommunication from Massachusetts Bay, and “Compact of Conscience” in 1638. She founded Rhode Island which was later joined with Providence Plantations, founded by Roger Williams, to make the present day State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

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