Book Description

A Southern Woman Successfully Pursues Her Dreams
in the Chaos of the South After the Civil War

A Land Without Ruins
by Belle Kearney

As an enlightened, sophisticated, and ambitious woman, Belle Kearney does not seem the type of person to come from a slave-holding family in the American South. Yet, the social environment does not necessarily determine personality and beliefs. A Land Without Ruins, is a highly intriguing and informative memoir describing her life on a slave plantation, and the enriching life she found as teacher and social activist. This biography is part of a critically important "unknown" history of America, in that it tells of a strong-minded woman who had the courage to break free from the bonds of a stultifying community to pursue her own effective and beneficial mission. Kearney's life shows a definite progression in identity and individuality. As her social and political beliefs gained better definition, she decided to become an "active modern worker". No doubt, Kearney's upbringing was the product of a traditional, wealthy land-owning social class that underwent the deprivations of the post-war period. Yet, her memoirs present an uncommon mix of what today would be called liberal and conservative views. Indeed, the diverse experiences which Belle Kearney assimilated over the years engendered an intensely personal philosophy about the problems of humanity. Because she held reasonable beliefs that defied simple classification, she was looked upon as one of the leaders of thought in the nation of her time, and as someone who raised the consciousness of a generation. A Land Without Ruins, gives us real insight into the mind of a trail-blazing woman, who refused to accept the path laid out for her by the remarkably complex and restrictive society in which she lived. 

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Other related titles: End of an Era, by John Sergeant Wise; Half a Century, by Jane Swisshelm.

             Book Specifics

    • Full title: A Land Without Ruins: The True Story of a Slaveholder's Daughter Who Became
       a Leader in the Civil Rights Movement
      , by Belle Kearney, edited by Paul Dennis Sporer
    • Revised and Enhanced Edition, with new preface and index
    • Imprint: Bylany Press; 230 pages
    • Format: Softcover; 6" x 9"; ISBN: 978-1-932490-51-0

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