Votes for Women! The American Woman Suffrage Movement and the Nineteenth Amendment

ABC-CLIO. (Guides to Historic Events in America). Jul. 2020. 265p. ISBN 9781440836701. $65. REF
Roydhouse (emerita, history, founding director, Ctr. for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning, Thomas Jefferson Univ.) tells the story of how American women earned the right to vote through the lens of those who directly fought in suffrage campaigns. Examining their actions in the context of economic, political, and social issues unfolding in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries, she illustrates how women organized and put pressure on the U.S. political system, resulting in white women being allowed to participate in local, state, and federal government politics. She also provides insights and perspectives that can help resolve current conflicts over voter registration, polling places, gerrymandering, and other barriers to voter participation. The book follows the same format as other titles in the series: a time line, a historical overview, topical chapters, and an annotated bibliography. Eight compelling chapters form the core; a thought-provoking section is devoted to what happened in the years following passage of the amendment, including how Black women obtained the right to suffrage through the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The 12 primary documents, such as Sojourner Truth’s “Address to the American Equal Rights Association” in 1867, and five short biographical essays on suffragists Abigail Duniway, Kate M. Gordon, Leonora O’Reilly, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, and Maud Younger, are excellent complementary pieces.
VERDICT A skilled blend of interpretative essays and primary documents about the women’s suffrage movement recommended for students, teachers, and general readers.
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