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The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in…

The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American… (original 2001; edition 2001)

by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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Title:The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth
Authors:Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Info:Knopf (2001), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (2001)


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An enjoyable read. Fascinating artifacts and incredible research behind the stories. Almost every chapter includes something about local Natives! Finally, someone has written Native People back into American History. On a scale of 1-10 she gets a 12 in book book. ( )
  nedoba | Jan 31, 2011 |
Fun, educating read. I recommend it for anyone interested in any of the "tags" listed below. ( )
  Jeanperry | Nov 28, 2010 |
This book provides a very evocative portrait of a culture. It also makes me long to visit New England museums to see examples of all of these crafts. ( )
  MHelm1017 | Jan 20, 2010 |
  SHCG | Jun 23, 2009 |
Interesting history of objects, however, a bit too technical for me. I wouls have enjoyed more stories about the items. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Apr 11, 2009 |
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"You must not go into the burial places, and look about only for the tall monuments and the titled names. It is not the starred epitaphs of the Doctors of Divinity, the Generals, the Judges, the Honourables, the Governors, or even of the village notables called Esquires, that mark the springs of our successes and the sources of our distinctions. These are rather effects than causes; the spinning-wheels have done a great deal more than these." - Horace Bushnell, The Age of Homespun, 1851
"Our fathers wrung their bread from stocks and stones
And fenced their gardens with the Redman's bones." - Robert Lowell, "Children of Light," 1944
"What did they do, our grandmothers, as they sat spinning all the day? Are we nto ourselves the web they wove?" - Anonymous toast; Mary Floyd Talmage Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution; Litchfield, Connecticut, 1910
For all the textilians
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If this book were an exhibit, I could arrange it as a room, one of those three-sided rooms you sometimes find in museums, open on one side like a dollhouse, with a little fence or rope across.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679445943, Hardcover)

Using objects that Americans have saved through the centuries and stories they have passed along, as well as histories teased from documents, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich chronicles the production of cloth--and of history--in early America. Under the singular and brilliant lens that Ulrich brings to this study, ordinary household goods--Indian baskets, spinning wheels, a chimneypiece, a cupboard, a niddy-noddy, bed coverings, silk embroidery, a pocketbook, a linen tablecloth, a coverlet and a rose blanket, and an unfinished stocking--provide the key to a transformed understanding of cultural encounter, frontier war, Revolutionary politics, international commerce, and early industrialization in America. We discover how ideas about cloth and clothing affected relations between English settlers and their Algonkian neighbors. We see how an English production system based on a clear division of labor—men doing the weaving and women the spinning--broke down in the colonial setting, becoming first marginalized, then feminized, then politicized, and how the new system both prepared the way for and was sustained by machine-powered spinning.

Pulling these divergent threads together into a rich and revealing tapestry of --the age of homespun,--Ulrich demonstrates how ordinary objects reveal larger economic and social structures, and, in particular, how early Americans and their descendants made, used, sold, and saved textiles in order to assert identities, shape relationships, and create history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:36 -0400)

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