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2021经济学人 美国内战--时代姐妹花(1)

所属教程:经济学人(中英对照+MP3)

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2021年07月22日

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Books & arts

文艺板块

Book review

书评

American history

美国历史

Band of sisters

姐妹团

The Agitators. By Dorothy Wickenden.

《鼓动者》,作者:多萝西·威肯登

Abraham Lincoln had his team of rivals, but they were all white men with high opinions of themselves. Female alliances also worked to end slavery and perfect the union in 19th-century America. In “The Agitators” Dorothy Wickenden of the New Yorker profiles three neighbours who sought women’s rights and freedom for African-Americans. They banded together at a time when society mistrusted female activists. A newspaper published a letter calling one of their gatherings a “tabernacle of mischief and fanaticism”.

亚伯拉罕·林肯有很多对手,但他们都是自视甚高的白人男性。而在19世纪的美国,女性联盟也同样致力于结束奴隶制并完善美国联邦制。在《鼓动者》中,《纽约客》作家多萝西·威肯登刻画了三位为非洲裔美国人争取女性权利和自由的邻居。她们是在社会不信任女性活动家之际集结在了一起。曾有一家报纸刊登了一封信,称她们的一次集会是“胡闹狂热的圣所”。

Even for the time, that was an overreaction. As Ms Wickenden shows, the trio’s success depended on middle-class respectability. Martha Coffin Wright, a Quaker and mother of six, found her voice writing anti-slavery essays for the North Star, an abolitionist paper published by Frederick Douglass. Her friend Frances Seward was married to William, governor of New York and a future secretary of state. With a pinched smile she entertained southern grandees and their charming wives. Mindful of his career prospects, William watched Frances’s social agitation with concern, once forbidding her from publicly supporting a school for black students.

即使在当时,这样的反应也算是小题大做。正如威肯登女士所讲述的,这三位女性的成功取决于她们在中产阶级的声望。玛莎·科芬·赖特是一位贵格会教徒,也是六个孩子的母亲,她在为弗雷德里克·道格拉斯出版的《北极星》报纸撰写反奴隶制的文章时找到了真正的自我。她的朋友弗朗西斯·苏厄德则嫁给了纽约州州长兼未来的国务卿威廉。她强颜欢笑地招待南方政要和他们迷人的妻子。碍于自己的职业前景,威廉密切关注着弗朗西斯造成的社会骚动,还曾经禁止她公开支持黑人学生的学校。

The third member of the group is the best known, and the most radical. Harriet Tubman, hailed as Moses, led hundreds of slaves north to freedom along the underground railroad. Her face may soon adorn the $20 bill, according to a spokesperson for Joe Biden’ s administration. Tubman found allies in Wright and Seward, both of whom volunteered their homes in upstate New York as underground-railroad stops. “Women, underrated as a matter of course, were less likely to fall under suspicion,” Ms Wickenden writes. The three became friends and comrades.

这个团体的第三个成员是最有名的,也是最激进的。她就是被誉为摩西的哈利特·塔布曼,曾带领数百名奴隶沿着地下铁路一路北上获得自由。乔·拜登政府的一位发言人表示,塔布曼的脸很快就会印在20美元的钞票上。塔布曼与莱特和苏厄德结成了盟友,因为她们二人都自愿把自己在纽约州北部的家作为地下铁路站。威肯登女士写道,“当然,常常被低估的女性不太可能受到怀疑。”三人渐渐成了朋友和同志。

 

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