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Patriots, Prostitutes, and Spies: Women and the Mexican-American War

Patriots, Prostitutes, and Spies: Women and the Mexican-American War

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Key Metrics

  • John M Belohlavek
  • University of Virginia Press
  • Hardcover
  • 9780813939902
  • 9.07 X 6.07 X 0.96 inches
  • 1.28 pounds
  • History > Military - Wars & Conflicts (Other)
  • English
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Book Description

In Patriots, Prostitutes, and Spies, John M. Belohlavek tells the story of women on both sides of the Mexican-American War (1846-48) as they were propelled by the bloody conflict to adopt new roles and expand traditional ones.

American women back home functioned as anti-war activists, pro-war supporters, and pioneering female journalists. Others moved west and established their own reputations for courage and determination in dusty border towns or bordellos.

Women formed a critical component of the popular culture of the period, as trendy theatrical and musical performances drew audiences eager to witness tales of derring-do, while contemporary novels, in tales resplendent with heroism and the promise of love fulfilled, painted a romanticized picture of encounters between Yankee soldiers and fair Mexican senoritas.

Belohlavek juxtaposes these romantic dreams with the reality in Mexico, which included sexual assault, women soldaderas marching with men to provide critical supportive services, and the challenges and courage of working women off the battlefield. In all, Belohlavek shows the critical roles played by women, real and imagined, on both sides of this controversial war of American imperial expansion.

Patriots, Prostitutes, and Spies: Women and the Mexican-American War

Author Bio

Professor John Belohlavek has won several awards including Fulbright-Hayes award and teaches American history at University of South Florida. His current research includes the role of women and their support/opposition to the Mexican War and and a biography of Andrew Jackson. 

Research Interests 

The role of women in the Mexican War; The social, economic, and political implications of antebellum lotteries

Education 

  • Ph.D./M.A..: University of Nebraska, Lincoln Major Field - United States History 
  • B.A.: Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania, Major - History, Degree awarded cum laude 

 

Source: University of South Florida Department of History 

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