The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine F. Weiss
3 words: stirring, detailed, political
Anyone else look at the pictures in nonfiction books before starting to read? (I always, always do.)
I knew I’d love this book when I got completely verklempt looking at the photos while standing in line at the Apple Store. The heroism and the teamwork and the long, long wait for success… it got to me. And this was before I’d read a word of the book. And then the feeling got stronger.
Looking at the final battle in the fight to win the vote for women, it’s astonishing to consider how long these women had been doing this work. I mean, they were already in the second generation!
The opening to this book is downright riveting: women from across the country are boarding trains to converge on Nashville, and they know they’re heading into a serious political battle. It made me goose-bumpy.
When we were in Nashville last year, we saw some of the important suffrage sites: the state capitol and the hotel where the key players stayed and lobbied. It’s pretty amazing to be in the room where it happened.
And we visited the recent statue to honor the strong women who helped give half of us Americans the right to vote. (I dearly love to vote.)
What surprised me about the story: learning just how difficult it was for women to win the right to vote, and learning how racism was a key factor in granting women the right to vote. There was a contingent that opposed enfranchising women because it would meant women of all races could vote. It’s appalling. And it makes it all the more significant that women were granted suffrage, because it was a win in more than one way.
If you enjoy reading about political movements and learning the behind-the-scenes maneuvers, this book is for you. And especially if you like books where the good gals win… pick this one up.
Give this book a whirl if you like…women’s history, the complexity of social movements, strong women, history writing that puts you in the moment, heroic women
What book got you all stirred up about politics?