Harper, Judith E. 1953-
Harper, Judith E. 1953-
Born 1953; married. Education: Wellesley College, graduated; Boston University, graduated.
Historian and author. Has worked for ten years as a teacher; former editor and writer of educational materials; Adirondack Safaris (tourism company), Johnsburg, NY, owner and hiking guide.
Mary Lily Research Grant, Sallie Bingham Women's Center for History and Culture at Duke University, 2001-02, for Women during the Civil War; Women during the Civil War was selected an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice, 2004.
Susan B. Anthony: A Biographical Companion, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 1998.
Women during the Civil War: An Encyclopedia, foreword by Elizabeth D. Leonard, Routledge (New York, NY), 2004.
NONFICTION FOR YOUNG READERS
Maya Angelou, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 1999.
Inuit, Smart Apple Media (Mankato, MN), 1999.
African Americans and the Revolutionary War, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2001.
Unique Places, Sundance (Northborough, MA), 2005.
Author of the blog Musings from Redwing Marsh. Contributor to periodicals, including the Boston Globe, Civil War Book Review, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Patriot Ledger, Bookmarks, and ForeWord.
A former teacher and educational book editor, Judith E. Harper has written a number of books that express her interest in American history, including subjects such as the Civil War and the roles of women and African Americans in history. Having written for both children and adults, Harper has received the widest praise for two reference works for older audiences: Susan B. Anthony: A Biographical Companion and Women during the Civil War: An Encyclopedia. The works are similar in that they are encyclopedic in nature, providing over a hundred entries each related to their subjects. Susan B. Anthony draws on the papers in Anthony's estate, as well as those of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It includes biographical entries on people important to Anthony's life, such as suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt and best friend Martha Coffin Write, as well as entries on topics of the times, such as the Civil War and the women's right-to-vote movement. Although Library Journal critic Jenny Lynn Presnell thought that a certain repetitiveness weakened the volume somewhat, as well as some "uneveness" in the entries, the critic concluded that the reference book is "otherwise [a] valuable source." A Booklist contributor was much more enthusiastic, calling Susan B. Anthony an "accessible work [that] will be tremendously useful, both for casual browsing and for serious researchers."
The American Library Association's publication Choice selected Harper's Women during the Civil War as an Outstanding Academic Title. The first publication of its kind in the United States, it took the author five years to write and contains 128 entries on people, movements, and other historical topics related to the role of women during the war. Including entries on famous women, such as Louisa May Alcott and Confederate spy Belle Boyd, as well as lesser-known women, the book also discusses how women of the period lived day to day, famous events involving women, and detailed information on the organizations they formed. "Although the biographies are useful, the essays helping to place women in a Civil War context are even more significant," reported a Booklist contributor. Critics of the book not only praised Harper for compiling a reference book on a frequently ignored subject, but also noted the well-written prose that makes the text all the more accessible and enjoyable for general readers. "Writing with enthusiasm and assurance, Harper provides interesting facts to make her articles fresh and informative," asserted Civil War News reviewer Linda G. Black. Teresa Fernandez, writing in Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources, similarly felt that the "entries are well written and provide enough information for readers to gain a fair understanding of the topic."
In addition to these works for adults, Harper has penned several biographies and other historically oriented texts for young readers. Among these are biographies of author Maya Angelou and U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Andrew Johnson, as well as the book African Americans and the Revolutionary War. This work drew praise for its well-written text, as well as for the quality of its research. "Highly readable writing [and] information not readily available for the intended audience" made this a recommended book, according to Pamela K. Bomboy in the School Library Journal.
Harper's interests are not limited to American history, however. She is also a nature lover who is a licensed hiking guide. As owner of Adirondack Safaris, she guides visitors through the mountain wilderness of New York state, using her skills as an experienced teacher to share with them the flora and fauna of the land. "Today the natural world is constantly threatened by habitat destruction and the consequences of rapid climate change," according to an article posted on the Adirondack Safaris Web site. "Because of these facts, Judith sought to create a way for people to become intimately familiar with wilderness, so that they may become advocates of it as well as activists for open space in their home communities."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 15, 1999, review of Susan B. Anthony: A Biographical Companion, p. 1093; March 1, 2000, Mary Ellen Quinn, review of Susan B. Anthony, p. 1280; March 1, 2000, review of Susan B. Anthony, p. 1280; March 1, 2004, review of Women during the Civil War: An Encyclopedia, p. 1234.
Choice, May, 1999, S.R. Moore, review of Susan B. Anthony, p. 1599; May, 2004, M.C. Duhig, review of Women during the Civil War, p. 1644.
Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources, spring, 2004, Teresa Fernandez, review of Women during the Civil War.
Journal of Military History, July, 2004, Lance Janda, review of Women during the Civil War, p. 966.
Library Journal, November 15, 1998, Jenny Lynn Presnell, review of Susan B. Anthony, p. 61; January, 2004, Theresa McDevitt, review of Women during the Civil War, p. 90.
Library Media Connection, August 1, 2004, Amy Short, review of Women during the Civil War, p. 75.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 1999, review of Susan B. Anthony, p. 97; February, 2004, review of Women during the Civil War, p. 60; May, 2007, review of Women during the Civil War.
Reference Reviews, December, 2003, review of Women during the Civil War.
Reference & User Services Quarterly, summer, 2004, Kristi L. Palmer, review of Women during the Civil War.
School Library Journal, July, 1999, Kathleen Staerkel, review of Maya Angelou, p. 107; March, 2001, Pamela K. Bomboy, review of African Americans and the Revolutionary War, p. 234.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2004, Nancy Zachary, review of Women during the Civil War, p. 74.
Adirondack Safaris Web site,http://www.adirondacksafaris.com (February 1, 2008), Judith E. Harper's company Web site.
Civil War News Online,http://www.civilwarnews.com/ (February 1, 2008), Linda G. Black, review of Women during the Civil War.
Judith E. Harper Home Page,http://www.juditheharper.com (February 1, 2008).
Persis Granger,http://www.persisgranger.com/ (February 1, 2008), brief biography of Judith E. Harper.