SOCIAL SCIENCES

Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right To Vote

Atria. Mar. 2019. 304p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781501177767. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501177781. HIST
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Cassidy (Jackie After O) briefly traces the early careers of women's right activist Alice Paul and former U.S. president Woodrow Wilson before centering her narrative on Paul's aggressive 1913–20 suffragist strategy that, she implies, defined the evolution of Wilson's views. Paul, a humble, reform-driven Quaker, singularly pushed the constitutional amendment, assailing Wilson with controversial tactics she'd learned from the Pankhursts in England. This eventually caused a schism with the larger, stagnant National American Woman Suffrage Association, which advocated state-level enfranchisement. Paul founded the National Woman's Party (NWP) in 1916 and tirelessly and selflessly directed her followers to picket, lobby, and submit to brutal imprisonment to gain attention. The NWP criticized Wilson's inconsistent promotion of global democracy while refusing to support women's suffrage at home. Cassidy deemphasizes NAWSA's efforts, connecting Wilson's ultimate conversion to relentless, humiliating NWP attacks, arguing that Paul's single-minded passion presents a model for today's grassroots activism.
VERDICT General readers will appreciate this treatment of the efforts of Paul, a heroine of the women's rights movement.

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