Vote!: Women’s Fight for Access to the Ballot Box

Twenty-First Century. Aug. 2019. 120p. bibliog. further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. Tr $37.32. ISBN 9781541528154.
Gr 6 Up–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

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