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One thing unmentioned in the review of Kirsten Wood's _Masterful Women_ is the book's excellent potential in the undergraduate classroom. With just under 200 pages of clear prose, this book opens up a fantastic discussion with its basic question, namely whether a nineteenth-century slaveholding woman could be a "master" in the typical sense of the word. That question allows a class to explore notions of both masculinity and femininity in the Antebellum south, as well as to consider how paternalism functioned as an overarching social fiction, as a tool of real power for wealthy white men, and as a claim that widowed white women could turn back upon the neighbors, sons, and cousins who failed to live up to their presumed obligations. I used the book this spring in an upper-division course and students responded very enthusiastically. I might also mention one thing in regard to Wood's source base: the experiences and legal contests Wood describes in _Masterful Women_ are confirmed time and again in the local court records available as part of Loren Schweninger's microfilmed collection "Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks-- Series II, Petitions to Southern County Courts, 1775-1867." I think that collection now exceeds 60 reels. It has a fantastic finding aid. I asked my students to write research papers using court cases that spoke to contests over mastery in the Antebellum South and (with a huge amount of encouragement) they actually went to the microfilm and turned up amazing primary sources. If you have access to a library that owns this collection, you and your students can have a field-day with this stuff. And if nothing else, these papers vividly illustrate the applicability of Wood's argument to a broader proportion of the southern states. Seth Rockman Department of History Brown University