Vote!: Women's Fight for Access to the Ballot Box
August 18, 2020, marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibited states and the US government from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. See how the 70-year-long fight for women's suffrage was hard won by leaders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt and others. Learn how their success led into the civil rights and feminist movements of the mid- and late twentieth century, as well as today's #MeToo, #YesAllWomen, and Black Lives Matter movements. In the face of voter ID laws, voter purges, gerrymandering, and other restrictions, Americans continue to fight for equality in voting rights.
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"A history of the struggle for universal suffrage in the United States. Initially suffrage was reserved for white male property owners, and while the property ownership requirement had largely been eliminated by 1800, white women were still disenfranchised, with legal control of their bodies and possessions transferring to their husbands upon marriage. Frazer (Economic Inequality, 2018) details the events and people that brought about incremental change and the eventual passage of the 19th Amendment. Suffragists' advocacy of reform issues--abolition, free love, temperance--are also covered. Frazer does not shy away from naming the underlying racism, nativism, and elitism espoused by early suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the discomfort within the larger movement of black suffragists like Ida Wells-Barnett and Frances Harper, or the complacency of white suffragists in the implementation of Jim Crow laws instituting poll taxes and literacy tests on black men. Frazer ends with warnings about current attempts at voter suppression and calls for the protection of voting rights and the mobilization of female voters. As this is a brief overview, some topics could have benefited from additional nuance and exploration, such as historical shifts in the Republican Party and barriers to Indigenous people's suffrage. Informative sidebars break up the text and offer important context. Offers teens a call to action to protect all voters from disenfranchisement."--Kirkus Reviews--Journal
"There are a number of solid books about the fight for women's suffrage, but this one is distinct because it doesn't just focus on the stars of the movement, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton et. al.; rather, it introduces some lesser-known figures, such as the Grimké sisters and Frances Willard. It also covers in detail the tensions that broke out between in social reform movements when it came to championing the vote for women and for African American men. Although studded with interesting photos and memorabilia and sporting an eye-pleasing design, this is text heavy. For those interested in the subject and for report writers, so much information, and the book's coverage of the present day, will be a bonus. More casual readers, enticed by the cover image (a brown-skinned woman's hand making the victory sign as the first letter of the word vote), may find this a harder go. But even those who skip around in the text will learn a lot. Bonus points for information on gerrymandering and how the fight for suffrage continues in communities of color."--Booklist--Journal
"To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Frazer has summarized nearly 180 years of history into a thorough primer about the fight for women's suffrage. She provides detailed biographical information about first-wave feminists. These well-educated, upper-class women argued against the belief that women were not fit to be involved in politics. They formed organizations that attempted change at local and sometimes state-wide levels. The movement finally coalesced in the early 1900s; new leaders realized national success depended upon appealing to broader classes. Women had gained incremental changes such as property, child-custody, and take-home pay rights. These applied to many women of all social classes, and these women wanted a voice to elect officials. Suffragists began peacefully picketing the White House and in 1917, they asked, 'Mr. President [Wilson], how long must women wait for liberty?' They were arrested, imprisoned, and inhumanely treated--this turned the tide of public sentiment in favor of women's suffrage. The 19th Amendment passed the U.S. House and Senate in mid-1919, and states raced to ratify it. It was law by August of 1920, and women voted nationally in 1920. The author concludes this masterly summary of suffragism by including the fight for African American voting rights and the recent voter suppression tactics used throughout the country. The back matter of the book is a gold mine for students seeking differing angles regarding women's suffrage. VERDICT This thorough history deserves a place in libraries in time for the anniversary."--School Library Journal--Journal