Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Five best books on women's suffrage

Sally McMillen is the Mary Reynolds Babcock Professor of History and Department Chair at Davidson College. She specializes in Southern and women's history, with an emphasis on the nineteenth century. Among her publications are Motherhood in the Old South: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Infant Rearing, Southern Women: Black and White in the Old South, and To Raise Up the South: Sunday Schools in Black and White Churches, 1865-1915.

Her latest book is Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement.

For the Wall Street Journal she named a five best list of books on women's suffrage. One title on the list:
In Her Own Right
by Elisabeth Griffith
Oxford, 1984
This absorbing biography does full justice to Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), a pivotal figure in the women's suffrage movement during the 19th century. Elizabeth Griffith details Stanton's long, fascinating life and close collaboration with fellow women's-rights campaigner Susan B. Anthony. "In Her Own Right" examines the attributes as well as the shortcomings of a woman who was uncompromising in her pursuit of radical demands, not just for the right to vote but also for divorce-law reform, marital property rights and equal wages. Toward the end of her life, Stanton produced the two-volume "Woman's Bible," which offered commentaries on the Good Book's negative attitude toward women. (Stanton had long blamed ministers as a major obstacle to women's advancement.) Griffith re-establishes Stanton's vital role among early suffragists—she was, after all, one of the principal organizers in 1848 of the groundbreaking Seneca Falls Convention, a catalyst for much that followed.
Read about the other books on McMillen's list.

the Page 99 Test: Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement by Sally McMillen.

--Marshal Zeringue