A Year in Books/Day 186: Votes for Women

  • Title: Votes for Women The Struggle for Suffrage Revisited
  • Editor: Jean H. Baker
  • Year Published: 2002 (Oxford University Press, Inc.)
  • Year Purchased: 2003/2004
  • Source: Unknown
  • About: Twelve of the fourteen contributors are professors, so this book has a decidedly academic quality. If that’s not your usual cup of tea, don’t be scared: the voices, although straightforward, are distinct and the chapters highly readable. The usual players from the women’s rights movement are here, their struggles underpinned by properly documented research. It’s no light laugh riot, but it is an inspiring, necessary reminder of how hard these women (and some sympathetic men) fought to be accorded even the most basic rights.
  • Motivation: I’m a feminist. I love history. The history of the women’s rights movement is, therefore, a subject I love to study.
  • Times Read: 2
  • Random Excerpt/Page 14: “There is a special irony in the activities of these female opponents of suffrage. For while they made their crusade in the name of keeping the traditional place of women, they used the same tactics as their opponents. They lobbied, wrote letters to legislators, addressed legislatures, published a newspaper, tore down their opponents’ posters and in all their tactics, moved beyond the home and hearth whose sanctity they intended to defend. Even to their use of red as a symbol (the suffragists used yellow), they mimicked their enemies and became the public women they did not want to be, in ironic testimony to the changing circumstances of all American women.”
  • Happiness Scale: 8

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