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While researching a fictional trilogy about the Civil War, Kim Murphy kept coming across the assertion that it was a “low-rape” war. At first she didn’t question the idea, she says, but after finding official records that mentioned rape in the same sentence as pillaging and burning—crimes generally accepted to have happened—she started to suspect there was a hole in the history that needed filling. She did more digging, and what she uncovered became her new, nonfiction book, I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War.Historians, Murphy says, largely had the idea that the Victorian era was characterized by restraint, and therefore there was little rape.
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It’s not just the fringe anymore. Mainstream conservatives are trying to bring America’s laws into agreement with ‘God’s law.’