Peace on Our Terms: The Global Battle for Women’s Rights After the First World War

Columbia Univ. Jan. 2020. 344p. ISBN 9780231195102. $35. HIST
Siegel (history, California State Univ., Sacramento; The Moral Disarmament of France) writes the first book that takes a comprehensive look at women's activism during the critical diplomatic events following the end of World War I. The author explains how global feminism first took flight as dozens of women from Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Asia converged on the Paris Peace Conference to demand that women's needs and concerns be addressed as policymakers worked to reshape the postwar world. Siegel introduces a host of pioneering feminists from different backgrounds, including pan-Africanist Ida Gibbs Hunt, French philanthropist Marguerite de Witt Schlumberger, Egyptian nationalist Huda Shaarawi, and Chinese "New Woman" Soumay Tcheng. Focused biographies of these key leaders are placed in the context of both their activities and political developments in their home countries. Beginning with the Paris Conference of 1919 and discussing various other international feminist gatherings through 1923, the book concludes with a balanced look at the results and legacy of their efforts. These activists brought issues of national sovereignty, disarmament, racial justice, wage equality, marital rights, sex trafficking, and maternity benefits to the forefront of international attention.
VERDICT For historians, political scientists, and students of women’s history, as well as general readers interested in contemporary global concerns and human rights.

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