Sex Wars by Marge Piercy
A Novel of the Turbulent Post-Civil War Period

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Post–Civil War New York City is the battleground of the American dream. In this era of free love, emerging rights of women, and brutal sexual repression, Freydeh, a spirited young Jewish immigrant, toils at different jobs to earn passage to America for her family. Learning that her younger sister is adrift somewhere in the city, she begins a determined search that carries her from tenement to brothel to prison—as her story interweaves with those of some of the epoch's most notorious figures: Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Susan B. Anthony; sexual freedom activist Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president; and Anthony Comstock, founder of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, whose censorship laws are still on the books.

In the tradition of her bestselling World War II epic Gone to Soldiers, Marge Piercy once again re-creates a turbulent period in American history and explores changing attitudes in a land of sacrifice, suffering, promise, and reward.


About Marge Piercy

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Poet and novelist Marge Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 31, 1936. She received a B. A. from the University of Michigan and an M. A. from Northwestern. She is involved in the Jewish renewal and political work and was part of the civil rights movement. She won the Arthur C. Clarke award. Besides writing her own novles and collections of poetry, she has collaborated with her husband Ira Wood on a play, The Last White Class, and a novel, Storm Tide. In 1997, they founded a small literary publishing company called the Leapfrog Press. She currently lives in Cape Cod.
Published May 10, 2010 by HarperCollins e-books. 425 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Most compelling here is Victoria Woodhull, who with her younger sister Tennie, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s lover, begins the first women’s brokerage house and campaigns for president with Frederick Douglass as her running mate.

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Publishers Weekly

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Piercy (Gone to Soldiers ) powerfully dramatizes the early feminists' zeal and the high stakes of the gender wars it set in motion, and offers a wealth of period detail, including tips on using an outdoor latrine when living in a fifth-floor walk-up and the cost to bathe (fully dressed, no soap) ...

Sep 05 2005 | Read Full Review of Sex Wars: A Novel of the Turb...

The Independent

EH Sex Wars, by Marge Piercy (PIATKUS £6.99 (408pp)) Free love and feminism lie at the heart of Marge Piercy's 16th novel - not a novel of Sixties radicalism, but a historical recreation of post-Civil War New York.

Dec 08 2006 | Read Full Review of Sex Wars: A Novel of the Turb...

Daily Kos

Sex Wars: A Novel Of Gilded Age New York, Marge Piercy.

Apr 05 2008 | Read Full Review of Sex Wars: A Novel of the Turb...

Project MUSE

Then Piercy provides background information on all four characters in a section named "Previously," which introduces Levin's life in 1862, Stanton in 1847, Comstock in 1854, and Woodhull in 1852.

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