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Switchtime at Midnight

  The two central figures, Eva and Ned Moe, are led by stages into profound character transformation. The author's unique contribution is to explore the mechanism by which such radical changes in personality types can take place. Today, it is often argued that the very foundation of the institution of marriage is in jeopardy. No serious observer of modern American society will deny the importance of the questions posed in this book. Within our contemporary social fabric, widely divergent values and attitudes are held about such basic cultural determinants as marital fidelity, group sex and the very nature of sensual gratification. How can these dashingly different codes exist side by side in the same community? How are such shifts in attitude transmitted? One has quite often heard of the breakdown of earlier, stricter beliefs in the area of sex and marriage; what Mr. Hemmingway has given us here is a detailed, valuable account of the insidious process by which such abrupt shifts in the moral code come about.


  FOREWORD: The loyalty of Pocahontas, the patriotism of Molly Pitcher and Dorothy Quincy, the devoted service of Clara Barton, the heroism of Ida Lewis, the enthusiasm of Anna Dickinson, the fine work of Louisa Alcott—all challenge the emulation of American girls of to-day. Citizen-soldiers on a field of service as wide as the world, young America has at this hour of national crisis its chance to win recognition for fidelity, for bravery, and for loyal service, with victory for American ideals as its golden reward, in a world 'made safe for democracy.' My first aim in bringing the lives of these ten American girls from history to the attention of the girls of to-day has been to inspire them to like deeds of patriotism and courage. Second only to that purpose is a desire to make young Americans realize as they read these true stories of achievement along such widely varying lines of work, that history is more thrilling than fiction, and that if they will turn from these short sketches to the longer biographies from which the facts of these stories have been taken, they will find interesting and absorbing reading. May the book accomplish its twofold object, and so justify its publication at this time of the testing of all true Americans. Kate Dickinson Sweetser. August 1, 1917.   an excerpt from the first chapter: POCAHONTAS: THE INDIAN GIRL OF THE VIRGINIA FOREST Sunlight glinting between huge forest trees, and blue skies over-arching the Indian village of Werewocomoco on the York River in Virginia, where Powhatan, the mighty 'Werowance,' or ruler over thirty tribes, was living. Through Orapakes and Pamunkey and other forest settlements a long line of fierce warriors were marching Indian file, on their way to Werewocomoco, leading a captive white man to Powhatan for inspection and for sentence. As the warriors passed into the Indian village, they encountered crowds of dusky braves and tattooed squaws hurrying along the wood trails, and when they halted at the central clearing of the village, the crowd closed in around them to get a better view of the captive. At the same time there rose a wild clamor from the rear of the throng as a merry group of shrieking, shouting girls and boys darted forward, jostling their way through the crowd. Their leader was a slender, straight young girl with laughing eyes such as are seldom seen among Indians, and hair as black as a crow's wing blown about her cheeks in wild disorder, while her manner was that of a happy hearty forest maiden. This was Matoaka, daughter of the Werowance Powhatan, and although he had many subjects as well as twenty sons and eleven daughters, not one was ruled so despotically as was he himself, by this slender girl with laughing eyes, for whom his pet name was Pocahontas, or in free translation, 'little romp.' Having established themselves in the front row of the crowd the girls and boys stood eagerly staring at the prisoner, for many of them had never seen a white man before, and as Pocahontas watched, she looked like a forest flower in her robe of soft deer-skin, with beaded moccasins on her shapely feet, coral bracelets and anklets vying with the color in her dark cheeks, while a white plume drooping over her disordered hair proclaimed her to be the daughter of a great chief. In her health and happiness she radiated a charm which made her easily the ruling spirit among her mates, and compelled the gaze of the captive, whose eyes, looking about for some friendly face among the savage throng, fastened on the eager little maiden with a feeling of relief, for her bright glance showed such interest in the prisoner and such sympathy with him as was to endear her to his race in later years.

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