“The Free State of Jones is one of the most gripping history books published in recent years. . . . Overall, the book offers an impartial look at the historical complexities that make up the southeastern piney woods section of Mississippi, how they have affected its people to this day, and how a large cast of characters are influenced by the vagaries of culture, society, race, religion and politics.” — Joe White, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger

“An ambitious piece of work spanning three centuries that presents a lively and intricate portrait of some fascinating and idiosyncratic characters. . . that may cause historians who are skeptical about putting too much stress on an “inner” Civil War to rethink their position.”–George C. Rable, American Historical Review

“Offers an intriguing analysis of how women and slaves contributed to the Knight Company’s operations, [and] the factors that shaped their efforts . . . . providing further evidence of the critical links between military operations and the social context within which they take place.”–Ethan Rafuse, H-South Reviews

“Brings together three turbulent times in American history–the Revolutionary Era, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights Movement  . . . . Her variety of sources is stunning, ranging from the manuscript censuses to church records, county records, and oral traditions.” –Jean A. Stuntz, H-SAWH Reviews

“Bynum is to be saluted not only for her profound scholarship but for her evenhanded accounts of matters that remain volatile and controversial. . . . [This] book should be praised as an original and cogent piece of scholarship on a devilishly complicated and demanding subject.”–George Core, Washington Times

“In retelling the story, Bynum has aptly demonstrated the paradoxical and contradictory nature of the South and its obsession with racial distinctiveness.” –Glenn Robins, Civil War Book Review

“Bynum has resisted writing a Mandingo. . . . The core of her narrative is the gripping tale of guerrilla conflict between Knight’s band of Unionists and the Confederate forces commanded by the ruthless Colonel Robert Lowry.” –Christopher Morris, Journal of Southern History.

“Deeply researched and well-written . . . . Powerful, revisionist, and timely, Bynum’s book combines superb history with poignant analysis of historical memory and southern racial mores.” — Choice

“Avoids the traditional academic tendency to dispel or discount local legends, myths, and folklore.”  –Derek W. Frisby, Journal of Mississippi History


“Bynum shows that communities of dissent that emerged in the Civil War South involved both men and women. . . . The wives of deserters and draft dodgers acted not as Confederate soldiers’ wives but as anti-Confederate cadres.” — Eric Foner, The Nation

Long Shadow of the Civil War “ranks among the most innovative in its methods and its findings. . . . These are stories–and people–that deeply disturb the old narratives of Civil War and Jim Crow era southern history.” — Paul Quigley,  Journal of American History

“These are the stories of southerners whose enemy was the Confederacy, and Bynum Paints their close-knit communities richly,” –Byron Wilkes, Jackson Free Press

“In her new book . . . [Bynum] extends her historical vision, asking how men and women who defied the region’s orthodoxies during the Civil War era continued to shape its history for decades to come.” — Stephen A. West, Journal of the Civil War Era

“Documents the inner civil war that tore southern communities apart even as it created unlikely alliances among various dissenters.” — John Rodrigue,  Society of Civil War Historians Newsletter

“Sophisticated, multi-layered analysis of class relations.” –Laura Hepp Bradshaw, Civil War Monitor

“Bynum’s three geographic examples all demonstrate the powerful role of family and kinship in motivating and mobilizing people’s responses to war.” — Kenneth C. Barnes, Arkansas Historical Quarterly

“Those who enjoy the study of Reconstruction social and political battles as much or more than the military conflicts of the Civil War will find a wealth of material here for further study…. [Bynum’s] engaging writing style will no doubt interest many readers of her book as well.” — TOCWOC

“Bynum reveals issues that have long been ignored, intentionally misinterpreted or suppressed by both personal interests and politics. . . . Exploding many myths about the Civil War and the supposedly ‘Solid South,’ she sets the stage for further research by expanding the scope of The Long Shadow into the era of Reconstruction and beyond.” — Joe L. White, Jackson Clarion-Ledger

The Long Shadow of the Civil War proves that dissent was not rare and insignificant. . . .  As writers like Eudora Welty have have shown us, the Southern man or woman can be an independent, stubborn, dissenting, even eccentric individual.  –Paul Escott, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences


“A fascinating and carefully argued interpretation of southern women.” — Sally G. McMillen, Journal of American History

“A powerful exposé of the seamy aspects of antebellum southern society. . . . [Readers] will appreciate [Bynum’s] nuanced depiction of the elaborate networks of kin and neighborly relations in the Piedmont and will find her study immensely informative and persuasive about social groups in the South that heretofore have been little understood.”
—  Jane Turner Censer, American Historical Review

Unruly Women is an important work that skillfully integrates class, race, and gender into a cogent analysis that demands attention.” Jean E. Friedman, Journal of Southern History

“[An] illuminating and thoughtful book.” –Suzanne Lebsock, Southern Cultures

“A welcome and ambitious study.”– Jeanne Boydston, Journal of the History of Sexuality

“Drawing on records of women who appeared in courts in three counties of the North Carolina Piedmont to seek redress against abuse or to answer charges of disorderly behavior, [Bynum] analyzes how courts attempted to enforce ideals of domesticity and how deviant women resisted. . . . A sophisticated but lively account of the lives of a subset of women whose experiences reflect importantly on the nature of southern society.” –Choice