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Book Review of A Midwife's Tale : The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812

A Midwife's Tale : The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812
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Helpful Score: 3


Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's book is a testament to how much can be gained by taking the time to look at women's history, often less well-preserved and overlooked. Basing her analysis on the spare writings of the diary of Martha Ballard, a midwife in Maine around the time of the American Revolution, Ulrich constructs a fascinating picture of the interdependency of early American households and communities, and the changes brought to women's lives from the American Revolution and the burgeoning field of medicine. Useful for both historians and laymen alike, both my mother and grandmother (not to mention me!) have loved it!


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