Southern Lady, Yankee Spy

Southern Lady, Yankee Spy

The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy

Book - 2003
Average Rating:
1
Rate this:
Northern sympathizer in the Confederate capital, daring spymaster, postwar politician: Elizabeth Van Lew was one of the most remarkable figures in American history, a woman who defied the conventions of the nineteenth-century South. In Southern Lady, Yankee Spy, historian Elizabeth Varonprovides a gripping, richly researched account of the woman who led what one historian called "the most productive espionage operation of the Civil War." Under the nose of the Confederate government, Van Lew ran a spy ring that gathered intelligence, hampered the Southern war effort, and helpedscores of Union soldiers to escape from Richmond prisons. Varon describes a woman who was very much a product of her time and place, yet continually took controversial stands--from her early efforts to free her family's slaves, to her daring wartime activities and beyond. Varon's powerful biography brings Van Lew to life, showing how she used thestereotypes of the day to confound Confederate authorities (who suspected her, but could not believe a proper Southern lady could be a spy), even as she brought together Union sympathizers at all levels of society, from slaves to slaveholders. After the war, a grateful President Ulysses S. Grantnamed her postmaster of Richmond--a remarkable break with custom for this politically influential post. But her Unionism, Republican politics, and outspoken support of racial justice earned her a lifetime of scorn in the former Confederate capital. Even today, Elizabeth Van Lew remains a controversial figure in her beloved Richmond, remembered as the "Crazy Bet" of Lost Cause propaganda. Elizabeth Varon's account rescues her from both derision and oblivion, depicting an intelligent, resourceful, highly principled woman who remained, asshe saw it, true to her country to the end.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2003
ISBN: 9780195142280
0195142284
Branch Call Number: 973.785 Va
Characteristics: xi, 317 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Elizabeth Van Lew was a Union spy living in Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War. In her book, Varon describes the life and accomplishments of this intriguing figure.

Elizabeth Van Lew was a Union spy living in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. In this book, Varon describes the life and accomplishments of this intriguing figure.

Northern sympathizer in the Confederate capital, daring spymaster, postwar politician: Elizabeth Van Lew was one of the most remarkable figures in American history, a woman who defied the conventions of the nineteenth-century South....Under the nose of the Confederate government, Van Lew ran a sp... Read More »


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

l
LisaBborninPDX
Aug 03, 2015

This is an interesting look at possibly a little known bit of the Civil War and just before and after.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

LibraryThing Series Information


  Loading...

Find it at CRRL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top