Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote

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$26.95  $25.06
Belknap Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 1.3 X 8.3 inches | 1.15 pounds
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About the Author

Susan Ware, celebrated feminist historian and biographer, is the author of American Women's History and Letter to the World, among other books. She is Honorary Women's Suffrage Centennial Historian at the Schlesinger Library and general editor of American National Biography. Ware is serving as a historical consultant to American Experience for its upcoming four-hour suffrage documentary and advising singer-songwriter Shaina Taub on her forthcoming musical based on the life of Alice Paul.

A smart, eclectic collection of 19 mini-biographies of Americans who worked for women's suffrage...Ware's excellent compendium expertly shows there are new ways to tell the suffrage story. This is a must-read for those interested in women's and American history.-- (04/01/2019)
Refreshingly, Ware...focuses on many of the lesser-known but equally audacious, talented women who joined the fight, profiling 19 courageous individuals...Important American history that is also timely given recent attempts at voter suppression.--Kirkus Reviews (03/15/2019)
One woman can refuse to pay taxes. A dozen can issue a manifesto. But it takes a multitude to mount a parade. Susan Ware's lively and delightful book zooms in on the faces in the crowd to help us understand both the depth and the diversity of the women's suffrage movement. Some women went to jail. Others climbed mountains. Visual artists, dancers, and journalists all played a part. Suffragists tangled with each other as well as with opponents. Far from perfect, they used their own abilities, defects, and opportunities to build a movement that still resonates today.--Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, author of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History
This entertaining and lively history of the women's suffrage movement is full of surprises, featuring accounts of people and events that are not well known and highlighting women from minority groups and from regions other than the Northeast. What a fresh take on the traditional narrative that begins with Seneca Falls and ends with the victory in 1920. I found myself looking forward to each new section.--Marjorie J. Spruill, author of One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman's Suffrage Movement
Susan Ware's book should be required reading for anyone who cares about our democracy and has forgotten how hard women had to fight for their right to participate in building a better future. She reminds us how far we've come--and how far we have yet to go.--Tanya Selvaratnam, author of The Big Lie
[Ware] places 19 women who've been overlooked because of race, class or sexuality back on the front lines of the fight for the ballot. Their stories provide readers with an intimate account of the unheralded activism that won women the right to vote, and an opportunity to celebrate a truly diverse cohort of first-wave feminist changemakers.-- (07/01/2019)
Looks at 19 activists from around the country, from a variety of races and backgrounds, revealing that the movement was made up of a wider and much more diverse group than is typically noted in the history books...It comes at a potent moment as the nation next year will see the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which deals with women's suffrage, and a presidential election that has drawn a record number of women candidates.--Boston Globe (05/02/2019)
Ware does a wonderful job of highlighting people and subjects often passed over when exploring the fight for women's rights...[She] does not shy away from some of the controversies often hidden when studying suffragism, namely racism, and is able to give both a broad and detailed look at the movement.--Library Journal (starred review) (03/28/2019)
As we see abortion rights attacked so fiercely in the U.S., this book is a reminder that winning the vote was not the end of the fight. It was the beginning of a continuing battle for real equality.-- (05/28/2019)
Her cast of characters usefully illustrates the geographic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic range of the suffrage movement. Ultimately, though, the diversity of the voting-rights advocates is less shocking than the diversity of voting rights themselves...Demonstrates the steady advance of women's suffrage while also complicating the standard portrait of it: the right to vote is less a switch than a dial, one that can be turned up or dimmed down.-- (07/08/2019)