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November 18, 2020

2 Books about Women's Fight to Vote

by Susan Roberts


On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified to give women the right to vote.  I have reviews of two recent books about the women's suffrage movement that helped get this amendment passed.
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Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick

Something Worth Doing
September 2020; Revell; 978-0800739249
ebook, print (320 pages); biographical 
"You never really knew your influence, Jenny.  It wasn't in the big campaigning or even the novels and newspapers.  It was in the everyday living that you did, writing your own map for how to proceed from tragedy and trials, disappointment and defeat.  you cared for and about others and learned lessons in your hunt." 
(p 297)

Something Worth Doing is a fictionalized novel about early suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway. She is another strong historical person who is new to most of us. She was an early suffragist who worked hard to get women the right to vote and questioned women's roles during the later part of the 1800s. Along with working for women's rights, Abigail was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, novelist, newspaperwoman who spent over 40 years working for equality for women.

As the novel begins, Abigail and her family are traveling to Oregon to have a better life. She is aware of the hardships women faced even though she was still young and her beliefs grew even stronger as she aged. She wasn't sure that she wanted to marry and have children but she changed her mind when she met Ben who believed that marriage should be a partnership, unlike most men who believed that they were the boss. It didn't really turn out that way in the beginning - she stayed at home, took care of babies (6 of them), cleaned house, cooked meals, churned butter, etc while he worked outside and spent time with his friends. Even with the inequality of the work in their everyday lives, he still supported his wife as she began to write poetry and articles for the local newspapers. As she grew older, she became more outspoken about the need for women to be equal to men and to be able to vote. She had a lot of detractors but that only made her fight harder for her beliefs. Her speeches took her all over the country and she even spent time with Susan B. Anthony. Despite the hardships she faced, she never gave up on herself and her fight for the right to vote.

Even though Abigail lived over 150 years ago she faced some of the same problems that women face today -the pull between career and family and the prejudice women encounter when they compete in a male-dominated world. This is also a timely book to celebrate 100 years since women gained the right to vote when the 19th Amendment was ratified. Thank you to all the women who faced scorn and ridicule for fighting for what they believed was right.

Buy Something Worth Doing at Amazon

Stories from Suffragette City edited by M.J. Rose and Fiona Davis

Stories from Suffragette City
October 2020; Henry Holt and Co.; 978-1250241320
audio, ebook, print (272 pages); anthology
"This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that 'The Right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex.'  Like all movements of its time, the push toward gender equality has been, and remains, a multifront challenge, but there is little doubt that the right to vote - and to have a voice in the democratic process is  a fundamental for success. "
  (loc 62)

 Stories from Suffragette City is a collection of short stories that all take place on October 23, 1915, in New York City when over 25,000 women marched up Fifth Avenue demanding the right to vote. Thirteen well-known authors have written a short story about the march. The stories look at the experiences of the very rich, the very poor, and everyone in between. Normally when I read an anthology, I like one of two of the stories better than the others but that wasn't the case with this book - I enjoyed all of the stories and I enjoyed the different characters they wrote about on this important day in the history of women's rights in this country.

I really enjoy a book that teaches me as I'm being entertained. I knew about the Suffrage movement but had no idea of the planning and work that went into it from all levels of society. Most of the women were ridiculed by both men and women who thought that women weren't smart enough to vote. But they persevered to get the vote for women!

This is a very timely and important anthology. Many women have become too complacent about voting and don't take advantage of their right to do so. This book reminds us of the hard work and sacrifices that the woman of the early 1900s did to give us the right to vote. We had a very important election recently, and I hope that all women took the time to VOTE!


 "There can be no equality in a democratic society in which the government listens to only some of its citizens." 


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter

 


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2 comments:

  1. Both look interesting
    Ps you might want to check that first date, you are off by 100 years ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for telling me about the date error - I really appreciate it!

      Delete

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