First published in 1987, this profoundly moving collection of women’s personal stories crosses political and cultural boundaries, and includes every major war from pre-World War I Europe to the jungles of Central America in the 1980s. As Americans continue to struggle with the dilemma, costs, and sacrifices of war, these inspiring narratives still pose powerful, relevant questions. With a new introduction, Hayton-Keeva connects the poignant testimonies to contemporary issues of war, and describes the common voice she heard as she interviewed these women – a voice distinctively different from the traditional experience of men at war: “War is not suspended in time, something outside a woman’s experience of life; it is part of life, woven into all the rest.” These mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives endured concentration camps, atomic bombs, homeland invasions, terrorism, and guerilla warfare. Some were nurses, nuns, or social workers.
Some were soldiers, prisoners, spies or snipers. Whether in active combat or serving in refugee camps, they took active command of their lives and did what had to be done. Their accounts convey the lifelong physical, emotional, and spiritual impact of their grief, terror and loss, and reveal that for women, war is not about glory and camaraderie and heroism. Instead, it is about the quiet valor born of individual suffering and triumph over adversity.
The women in these profoundly moving personal stories present testimony crossing many political and cultural boundaries in major conflicts from pre-World War I Europe to the jungles of Central America in the 1980s. Whether nurses, prisoners, or soldiers, their accounts convey the lifelong physical, emotional, and spiritual impacts of terrorism and war.
Photographs / notes / bibliography / index / 240 pages (2003)