Varon, Elizabeth R. 1963-
Varon, Elizabeth R. 1963-
Born 1963. Education: Yale University, Ph.D.
Home—Philadelphia, PA. E-mail—[email protected]
Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, former staff member; Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, professor of history.
Richard Slatten Award for Excellence in Virginia Biography, from the Virginia Historical Society, 2004, People's Choice Award for Nonfiction, from the James River Writers Festival and the Library of Virginia, 2004, and the Southern Regional Council Award, all for Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy.
We Mean to Be Counted: White Women & Politics in Antebellum Virginia, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1998.
Elizabeth R. Varon serves as a professor of history at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Varon's primary area of research is how social and women's history may be integrated with military and political history, with a particular emphasis on the Civil War era, focusing on the South. She has won awards from the Virginia Historical Society; the James River Writers Festival and the Library of Virginia; and the Southern Regional Council, all for her book, Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy. The work examines the efforts of Elizabeth Van Lew, who was not only a Union spy during the Civil War, but was an early advocate for women's rights and for civil rights for African Americans. A contributor to Publishers Weekly called the book a "groundbreaking and altogether remarkable biography," adding that it was "free of jargon, anachronism, prejudice and condescension, and as accessible to the lay reader as a novel." Janet L. Coryell, in a review for the Journal of Southern History, noted: "Varon's well-written and spirited volume corrects the myths that have surrounded Van Lew." She added that the volume "contributes much to the history of southerners who disagreed with secession and saw themselves not as Yankee spies but as Union patriots."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May, 2004, P.F. Field, review of Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy, p. 1726.
Journal of Southern History, November, 2004, Janet L. Coryell, review of Southern Lady, Yankee Spy, p. 936.
Kliatt, September, 2005, Janet Julian, review of Southern Lady, Yankee Spy, p. 35.
Labor/Le Travail, fall, 1998, Tatiana Van Riemsdijk, "Domesticity All Dressed-Up: Gender in Antebellum Politics and Culture," pp. 235-242.
Polity, spring, 2002, R. Claire Snyder, "Gendered Radicalism and Civil Society: What Can Democratic Theorists Learn from Southern White Ladies?," p. 393.
Publishers Weekly, September 1, 2003, review of Southern Lady, Yankee Spy, p. 76.
Organization of American Historians,http://www.oah.org/ (December 5, 2006), author biography.
Temple University Web site,http://www.temple.edu/ (December 5, 2006), faculty biography.*