Faust, Drew Gilpin 1947- (Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust)
Faust, Drew Gilpin 1947- (Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust)
Born September 18, 1947, in New York, NY; daughter of M. Tyson (a horse breeder) and Catharine Ginna Gilpin; married Stephen Faust (divorced, 1976); married Charles Ernest Rosenberg (a professor), June 7, 1980; children: (second marriage) Jessica Marion, Leah (stepdaughter). Education: Bryn Mawr College, B.A., 1968; University of Pennsylvania, M.A., 1971, Ph.D., 1975. Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, senior fellow, 1975-76, assistant professor, 1976-80, associate professor of American civilization, 1980-84, chair of department, 1980-83 and 1984-86, professor, 1984-88, Stanley Sheerr Professor of History, 1988-89, director of women's studies, 1996-2000, Annenberg Professor of History, 1989-2000, professor of Afro-American studies, beginning 2002; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, professor of history, beginning 2001, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2001-07, Lincoln Professor of History, beginning 2003, president, 2007—. Also member of university committees and boards; member of award juries; and presenter of lectures at numerous universities.
American Historical Association, American Philosophical Society, Organization of American Historians, American Studies Association, American Antiquarian Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Society of American Historians, Southern Historical Association.
Social Science Research Council fellowship, 1975; Spencer Foundation grant, 1976; American Council of Learned Societies grant, 1978; National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1979-80; Lindback Award, 1982; Jules F. Landry Prize from Louisiana State University Press, 1982, book prize from Society of Historians of the Early American Republic, 1983, Charles S. Sydnor Prize from the Southern Historical Association, all for James Henry Hammond and the Old South; fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 1986; Guggenheim fellowship, 1986; Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Pennsylvania, 1996; Jefferson Davis Award from the Museum of the Confederacy, Avery Craven Prize from the Organization of American Historians, and Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians, all 1997, all for Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War; McCord Writing Prize, 2003.
A Sacred Circle: The Dilemma of the Intellectual in the Old South, 1840-1860, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1977.
The Ideology of Slavery: The Proslavery Argument in the Antebellum South, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1981.
James Henry Hammond and the Old South: A Design for Mastery, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1982.
The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1988.
(Contributor, with others) Before Freedom Came: African-American Life in the Antebellum South: To Accompany an Exhibition Organized by the Museum of the Confederacy, University Press of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), 1991.
(Editor and author of introduction) Augusta Jane Evans, Macaria; or, Altars of Sacrifice, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1992.
Southern Stories: Slaveholders in Peace and War, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1992.
A Riddle of Death: Mortality and Meaning in the American Civil War, Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA), 1995.
(Author of foreword) Bell Boyd in Camp and Prison, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1998.
This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War, Knopf (New York, NY), 2008.
Contributor of scholarly articles to history journals and contributor of book reviews to periodicals. Contributor to books, including Notable American Women: The Modern Period, Harvard University Press, 1980; Religion and the American Civil War, edited by Randall Miller, Harry Stout, and Charles R. Wilson, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998; and Yards and Gates: Gender in Harvard and Radcliffe History, edited by Laurel Thacher Ulrich, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Also member of editorial boards for Journal of Southern History, 1981-86; Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1986-89; Journal of American History, 1991-94; and Slavery and Abolition, 1996-2005.
Drew Gilpin Faust is a historian with a long and illustrious academic career. In 2007, she was named president of Harvard University, the first female to ever hold this position. The appointment made her into something of a celebrity in academic circles, and her career has been followed closely by the media ever since. Faust is also the author or editor of several books. Some of her earlier work includes titles such as A Sacred Circle: The Dilemma of the Intellectual in the Old South, 1840- 1860, The Ideology of Slavery: The Proslavery Argument in the Antebellum South, and James Henry Hammond and the Old South: A Design for Mastery. Her 1992 book Macaria; or, Altars of Sacrifice, which Faust edited, is a reprinted Civil Warera novel by Augusta Jane Evans. Faust also wrote the introduction to the novel about three Southern women who participate in the war effort against the North. Critics found that the reprinted novel sheds much insight on both political views and assigned sex roles during the Civil War. They also found that Faust's introduction effectively illuminates this insight. For instance, a Publishers Weekly contributor stated: "A product of its time, the novel is, as Faust … notes, especially interesting for political statements." Virginia Blum, writing in Anq, observed that Faust's introduction "offers a fascinating account of the personal and political circumstances from which the novel emerged as well as a crucial discussion of the ambivalence plaguing both author and text." Blum went on to note that "while the novel seems to promote woman's autonomy, Faust argues that devotion to God substitutes for devotion to the lost man in this marriage-plot manque." Because of this, Blum found that "Faust shows that the marriage-plot for Evans is inextricably related to her devotion to the slaveocracy and Southern plantation values."
In Southern Stories: Slaveholders in Peace and War, which was also published in 1992, Faust presents ten essays written between 1977 and 1992. The essays explore Southern literature in the antebellum period, which took place from 1812 to the outbreak of Civil War in 1861. Faust looks at letters, poetry, fiction, and journals from this time as a means to explore the South as it was experienced by the people who lived there. Reviewers applauded the book, noting that it is one of the best of its kind. Mississippi Quarterly critic Leonne M. Hudson wrote: "With this volume Faust, one of the leading social and intellectual historians on the Old South, makes a significant contribution to the literature of the prewar years and the conflict itself. These analytical essays present a concise understanding of the development of Southern ideologies during the mid-nineteenth century." Michael Perman, writing in Reviews in American History, was also impressed. He stated that "unlike many similar anthologies … this is a book that possesses both focus and theme." Perman concluded that "the result is a historically grounded and intellectually sophisticated approach that is rarely adversarial or dismissive of differing viewpoints. Rather, Faust's strategy has been to elaborate and deepen understanding of the South's slaveholders. Out of the subtle analysis and expanding scope that she is bringing to the task, the world the slaveholders made, and then managed to sustain during their struggle for independence, is becoming much better known and understood."
Through the late 1990s Faust published several works, including the 1996 book Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War. Following this, Faust wrote the foreword to Bell Boyd in Camp and Prison in 1998. She then took a ten-year break in her publication schedule to focus on her academic career. In 2008, Faust returned to writing with the release of This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. The book is about social and cultural views of death and dying, and how these views were changed by the Civil War. In the antebellum years, Faust reports, eighty-five percent of the population died at home. Thus, with the Civil War claiming the lives of one in five soldiers, attitudes toward death, and the customs surrounding it, were rapidly forced to change. Even the Confederate government was not equipped to handle the carnage, and Faust notes that most dead soldiers were listed as unknown or as missing in action. Few families were afforded any real closure in the form of concrete knowledge that their sons, husbands, or brothers had been killed. Faust also notes that the Civil War forever changed how the future United States government would deal with the death of its soldiers, implementing strict record-keeping measures and developing a protocol for notifying families of the loss of a loved one, as well as instituting procedures for laying lost soldiers to rest.
The critical response to This Republic of Suffering was largely positive. For instance, Newsweek writer Malcolm Jones called the book "one of those groundbreaking histories in which a crucial piece of the past, previously overlooked or misunderstood, suddenly clicks into focus." Even more laudatory in his assessment, America critic Peter Heinegg stated that Faust's work is "brisk, pungent and arresting," adding that "This Republic of Suffering should be an instant classic of American studies, even as it raises the agonizing question that we rueful connoisseurs of later civil wars (Vietnam, Iraq, etc.) must go on asking ourselves: Was it worth it?" A Kirkus Reviews contributor also applauded the book, dubbing it "a moving work of social history" and "an illuminating study."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, May 12, 2008, Peter Heinegg, "Did They Die in Vain?," p. 32.
American Heritage, May 1, 1996, review of Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, p. 114.
Anq, April 1, 1994, Virginia Blum, review of Macaria; or, Altars of Sacrifice, p. 104.
Booklist, March 1, 1996, Roland Green, review of Mothers of Invention, p. 1119.
Books & Culture, March 1, 2008, "To Hell and Back."
Christian Century, July 1, 2008, Edward J. Blum, review of This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War, p. 40.
Christian Science Monitor, January 29, 2008, "When Death Came Marching Home," p. 13.
Chronicle of Higher Education, January 11, 2008, "Dead Reckoning."
Historian, January 1, 1998, review of Mothers of Invention, p. 364; March 22, 1998, Wendy Hamand Venet, review of Mothers of Invention, p. 624.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2007, review of This Republic of Suffering.
Library Journal, November 15, 2007, Randall M. Miller, review of This Republic of Suffering, p. 67; January 1, 2008, Margaret Heilbrun, review of This Republic of Suffering, p. 116.
Mississippi Quarterly, December 22, 1993, Leonne M. Hudson, review of Southern Stories: Slaveholders in Peace and War, p. 173.
Newsweek, January 21, 2008, Malcolm Jones, "Death of a Nation," p. 76.
New Yorker, January 21, 2008, "In the Mourning Store," p. 77.
New York Times Book Review, January 27, 2008, "Death's Army," p. 8; February 3, 2008, "Editors' Choice: Recent Books of Particular Interest," p. 26.
Publishers Weekly, July 6, 1992, review of Macaria, p. 49; January 1, 1996, review of Mothers of Invention, p. 62; October 8, 2007, review of This Republic of Suffering, p. 45.
Reviews in American History, March 1, 1994, Michael Perman, review of Southern Stories, p. 62.
Southern Cultures, March 22, 1998, Elizabeth D. Leonard, review of Mothers of Invention, p. 125.
USA Today, January 24, 2008, "Horrors of War, Multiplied," p. 6.
Weekly Standard, December 17, 2007, "In Brief; Some Holiday Suggestions for the Military Buff on Your List."
Wilson Quarterly, March 22, 1996, Martha Bayles, review of Mothers of Invention, p. 80; January 1, 2008, "Mortal Nation," p. 98.
Women's Review of Books, March 1, 1997, Stephanie McCurry, review of Mothers of Invention, p. 13.