Author:Brown, Elizabeth Nolan

Were early American feminists classical liberals or radical leftists? Did they support or work against black enfranchisement and the abolition of slavery? Did they get too tied up in the temperance movement, or did aligning with Prohibition help their cause? The answer to all of the above is yes, a new book suggests.

In Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote, UCLA historian Ellen Carol DuBois takes us from the first stirrings of American women's organized fight for legal rights, in the 1840s, through the ratification of the 19th Amendment--giving U.S. women the right to vote--in 1920. There's no shortage of space devoted to famous suffragists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. But Suffrage makes room for many lesser-known activists and organizers, including black suffragists often left out of history books. It also delves into nitty-gritty detail about the electoral and cultural politics undergirding women's suffrage.

The book is insightful about shifting conceptions of proper female attributes and behavior, revealing the shifting...

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