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  Coachlight Press
[The Dreaming -- Walks Through Mist Cover]

I Had Rather Die — Rape in the Civil War
Media and Reviews


A Major Work of Scholarship...Long Overdue

One hundred-fifty years after the conclusion of Civil War, the historian Kim Murphy has brought forward a meticulously documented and gut-wrenching account of the gratuitous acts of violence against women's bodies, black and white, slave and free, young and old, that accompanied the marches, battles, skirmishes, and periods of military occupation during that dreadful time. She has produced a major work of scholarship that was long overdue, and that all historians should be grateful for.

—Susan Brownmiller, author of "Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape"

An Impressive Work of Original and Meticulous Scholarship

Kim Murphy's "I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War" is an impressive work of original and meticulous scholarship into a difficult aspect of the bloodiest war in American history to date. While a sensitive subject and one that we are still dealing with today (more than 5,000 reported rapes in the American military for 2013), "I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War" is informed and informative reading with an amazing relevance far beyond the usual Civil War studies of military campaigns and personalities. Simply stated, no academic library Civil War Studies collections can be considered complete or comprehensive without the inclusion of "I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War".


A Long Overdue Voice

Historians of the American Civil War have long asserted that it was a "low-rape" war. Rather than accept this unsubstantiated claim, Kim Murphy investigated the extant sources and found that women in war-torn areas brought numerous rape allegations to the attention of officials, some of which were prosecuted and many that were not. I Had Rather Die gives a long overdue voice to females who suffered sexual degradation at hands of US and Confederate soldiers.

—Mary R. Block, Valdosta State University

A highly informative and enlightening book

Kim Murphy has produced a highly informative and enlightening book, "I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War." Again, not a pleasant topic, and one that is rarely touched by other historians. In fact, historians have often referred to the Civil War as a "low-rape" conflict. Murphy, however, in her seven years of exhaustive and extensive research, proves otherwise.


In the Media


You can also read reviews of Kim Murphy's previous works: Walks Through Mist, Whispers from the Grave and Whispers Through Time, Promise & Honor, Honor & Glory, and Glory & Promise.


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