As you all know, I'm an avid Civil War buff, and am always on the lookout for a new and interesting slant on things. They Fought Like Demons focuses on women who disguised themselves as males to join in on both sides of the conflict. Though primary sources and also reported anecdotal evidence, the authors demonstrate the methods and motivations of women in the Civil War trenches.
This definitely reads more
like an academic paper than a book, but that's okay. The authors managed
to cram in an amazing amount of facts and research into a fairly small
amount of space. A lot of it was fascinating, though there were
sometimes SO MANY facts that it got a little hard to follow or in a few
spots a bit repetitive.
The only thing I found a little questionable
was the authors' adamant denial that any of these women (even the ones
who lived as men both before and after the war) were lesbians. While I
see their point, which is that women had so few options at the time that
some might choose to continue to live as men because they preferred a
more independent lifestyle, I think it's a bit silly to think that none
of them would be what today would be referred to as "transgendered". In
all, it's an excellent piece of research on an overlooked area of