It is easy to feel an overwhelming sense of empowerment while reading Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in The Civil War. In a time where women were considered the weaker or fairer sex, before they were given the vote, and in a time where they were expected to maintain a certain air of etiquette. These four women chose their own fates, involving themselves in a war which pitted neighbors against one another. Women of the time were expected to back their men up while remaining ignorant of the realities, from knitting and crocheting, to sewing socks, and making blankets for Confederate Soldiers, women were expected to remain in the background. However, with the men away and some eventually being killed, women had to take over running homes, farms and businesses. They had to make sure the slaves they owned carried on working in the fields, often using the threat of violence and sending men off to join the armies, humiliating those who said no, 'Sending a skirt and crinoline with a note saying “Wear these, or volunteer.”'
From Emily, who posed as a man for two years to get away from an overbearing father, to Belle the fiery young woman who did virtually anything she pleased without a care for the consequences. From Rose, who openly flaunted the rules in a tight lipped Union society, to Elizabeth, who conducted her undercover activities in the violent south (admittedly with a somewhat more covert attitude than Rose) Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in The Civil War leads you through the war from beginning to end. Charting how these women steered the fates of both the Union and Confederate armies, from individuals broken out of hell like prisons, to mass troop movements which helped one side or the other.