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

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Looking beyond the national leadership of the suffrage movement, an acclaimed historian gives voice to the thousands of women from different backgrounds, races, and religions whose local passion and protest resounded throughout the land. For too long the history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the visionary adventures of a few iconic leaders, al Looking beyond the national leadership of the suffrage movement, an acclaimed historian gives voice to the thousands of women from different backgrounds, races, and religions whose local passion and protest resounded throughout the land. For too long the history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the visionary adventures of a few iconic leaders, all white and native-born, who spearheaded a national movement. In this essential reconsideration, Susan Ware uncovers a much broader and more diverse history waiting to be told. Why They Marched is the inspiring story of the dedicated women--and occasionally men--who carried the banner in communities across the nation, out of the spotlight, protesting, petitioning, and demonstrating for the right to become full citizens. Ware structures her account around nineteen individual women--Mary Church Terrell, a multilingual African American woman; Rose Schneiderman, a labor activist building cross-class coalitions on New York's Lower East Side; Claiborne Catlin, who toured the Massachusetts countryside on horseback to drum up support for the cause; Mary Johnston, an aristocratic novelist bucking the Southern ruling elite; Emmeline W. Wells, a Mormon woman in a polygamous marriage determined to make her voice heard; and others--who helped harness a groundswell of popular support. Each suffragist is paired with an object or artifact from the campaign. The dramatic and often joyous experiences of these women help us to understand the many different meanings of the right to vote, and to appreciate the involvement of these advocates in a movement that changed lives forever. Ware's moving personal narratives provide a surprisingly comprehensive account of one of the most significant and wide-ranging moments of political mobilization in all of American history.


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Looking beyond the national leadership of the suffrage movement, an acclaimed historian gives voice to the thousands of women from different backgrounds, races, and religions whose local passion and protest resounded throughout the land. For too long the history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the visionary adventures of a few iconic leaders, al Looking beyond the national leadership of the suffrage movement, an acclaimed historian gives voice to the thousands of women from different backgrounds, races, and religions whose local passion and protest resounded throughout the land. For too long the history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the visionary adventures of a few iconic leaders, all white and native-born, who spearheaded a national movement. In this essential reconsideration, Susan Ware uncovers a much broader and more diverse history waiting to be told. Why They Marched is the inspiring story of the dedicated women--and occasionally men--who carried the banner in communities across the nation, out of the spotlight, protesting, petitioning, and demonstrating for the right to become full citizens. Ware structures her account around nineteen individual women--Mary Church Terrell, a multilingual African American woman; Rose Schneiderman, a labor activist building cross-class coalitions on New York's Lower East Side; Claiborne Catlin, who toured the Massachusetts countryside on horseback to drum up support for the cause; Mary Johnston, an aristocratic novelist bucking the Southern ruling elite; Emmeline W. Wells, a Mormon woman in a polygamous marriage determined to make her voice heard; and others--who helped harness a groundswell of popular support. Each suffragist is paired with an object or artifact from the campaign. The dramatic and often joyous experiences of these women help us to understand the many different meanings of the right to vote, and to appreciate the involvement of these advocates in a movement that changed lives forever. Ware's moving personal narratives provide a surprisingly comprehensive account of one of the most significant and wide-ranging moments of political mobilization in all of American history.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Casey Cep

    Reviewed this book and two others in an article for "The New Yorker" on women's suffrage. Here's the link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20... Reviewed this book and two others in an article for "The New Yorker" on women's suffrage. Here's the link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susanna Sturgis

    From the title I expected stories about the rank-and-file supporters of women's suffrage, the "ordinary" activists who did the work behind the scenes and under the radar. This book isn't quite that (though I'd welcome such a thing if/when it appears). Most of these women were not at all "behind the scenes and under the radar" in their own time. A couple, like Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth, are well known, even iconic, today, though as with most icons we don't know as much about them as we From the title I expected stories about the rank-and-file supporters of women's suffrage, the "ordinary" activists who did the work behind the scenes and under the radar. This book isn't quite that (though I'd welcome such a thing if/when it appears). Most of these women were not at all "behind the scenes and under the radar" in their own time. A couple, like Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth, are well known, even iconic, today, though as with most icons we don't know as much about them as we think we do. Other names are familiar to anyone who's done some reading in women's history: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Alice Stone Blackwell, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Rose Schneiderman, Mary Church Terrell, Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt. But most of the women featured here were public figures in their day, organizers who did a lot more than march. What Why They Marched does wonderfully and importantly is focus on various aspects of the suffrage movement that are often ignored or slighted. Did you realize that Mormon women were a strong voice for suffrage? I sure didn't. I did know that Utah was among the first states to give women the right to vote -- women could vote in Utah as soon as it became a territory in 1870 -- and that Utah was overwhelmingly Mormon, but I didn't make the connection. When the suffrage movement is taken out of its historical context, one thing that often gets lost is what author Susan Ware calls "the shadow of the Confederacy." This is the title of chapter 6, but the shadow suffuses several other chapters as well. The racism of many white suffragists has been well documented, but less attention has been paid to systemic white supremacy and how deeply it affected political realities on the ground. This comes to the fore in Ware's last chapter, about the fight to get the Tennessee legislature to ratify what became the 19th Amendment. (Elaine Weiss's The Woman's Hour is entirely devoted to this and highly recommended. It's a page-turner even when you know how it comes out.) Sue Shelton White, Tennessee native, working woman, and organizer for the National Woman's Party, played a key role here. She's near the top of my list of suffragists who should be much better known today. Ida Wells-Barnett is best known for her heroic work to expose the prevalence of lynching; she was also an active suffragist and community organizer in Chicago. Since the white organizers for women's suffrage marginalized or outright ignored black women, Wells-Barnett founded the Alpha Suffrage Club to mobilize black women not only for suffrage but for political participation on a wider scale. When the white organizers of the great 1913 suffrage march on Washington, timed to coincide with the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson, relegated women of color to the back of the march, Wells-Barnett first argued against the policy – and then took action: she waited on the curb till the front of the procession passed by, then she stepped off and joined the leaders. Mary Church Terrell is known for her activism on behalf of civil rights and women's suffrage, but I didn't know that she spoke four languages – and that she addressed a 1904 meeting in Berlin of the International Council of Women in German. The more I read about the suffrage movement, the more struck I am by the suffragists' organizing ingenuity and persistence over at least seven decades (and longer once you realize that Seneca Falls didn't come out of nowhere). They pioneered some strategies that we've long taken for granted. Ware's chapter 18, "Maud Wood Park and the Front Door Lobby," was an eye-opener for me. I don't know about you, but I'd never heard of Maud Wood Park. She organized the several-year lobbying effort that persuaded both houses of Congress to pass the suffrage bill and in the process practically invented the kind of lobbying that happens out in the open, not in smoke-filled backrooms. This was, as Ware notes, "difficult and often tedious work. It lacked the glamour of marching in a suffrage parade, addressing an open-air meeting, or picketing the White House, but it was absolutely crucial to the long suffrage campaign's success." Amen. What I love most about Why They Marched is how much it says about why we march, and how we got to where we are. I might suggest that you come to it after brushing up a bit on suffrage history, but even if you don't, you'll get a lot out of this book – and you'll probably want to read more.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy Steinke

    It has been 100 years this year since the US government passed the 19th Ammendment which gave all women in the United States the right to vote. It boggles my mind because 100 years is actually not that long ago. I found this book so interesting and liked that Ware focused on suffragists that weren't widely covered in my education. The fight these women fought was not easy and there were so many different suffragist movements that often did not like each other. I really feel like I learned a lot It has been 100 years this year since the US government passed the 19th Ammendment which gave all women in the United States the right to vote. It boggles my mind because 100 years is actually not that long ago. I found this book so interesting and liked that Ware focused on suffragists that weren't widely covered in my education. The fight these women fought was not easy and there were so many different suffragist movements that often did not like each other. I really feel like I learned a lot from this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Not just Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, this book includes many other names and situations than those that came from the Seneca Falls Convention. Not everyone fighting for women's right to vote wanted the same outcome. Factions included a group who wished to exclude "coloreds" and immigrants. Some areas of the country (Utah) moved faster than others at accepting female voters. I loved Susan B. Anthony's quote when she first tried to get to vote, "I didn't present myself as a woman. Not just Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, this book includes many other names and situations than those that came from the Seneca Falls Convention. Not everyone fighting for women's right to vote wanted the same outcome. Factions included a group who wished to exclude "coloreds" and immigrants. Some areas of the country (Utah) moved faster than others at accepting female voters. I loved Susan B. Anthony's quote when she first tried to get to vote, "I didn't present myself as a woman. I presented myself as a citizen."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Holly Walter

    "I speak as loudly as I can....I even speak louder than I can" - Susan B. Anthony This felt like important reading for the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment and a divisive election cycle. I'm inspired by these women's stories and their courage.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Although there were times when ‘Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote’ assumed more background knowledge than a book aimed at a lay audience should assume, the majority of Susan Ware’s well-researched dive into suffrage in the United States was illuminating and easy to follow. She focused on lesser known figures who nevertheless played key roles in the arduous battle to pass the Nineteenth Amendment, writing frankly about the racism and classism that infe Although there were times when ‘Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote’ assumed more background knowledge than a book aimed at a lay audience should assume, the majority of Susan Ware’s well-researched dive into suffrage in the United States was illuminating and easy to follow. She focused on lesser known figures who nevertheless played key roles in the arduous battle to pass the Nineteenth Amendment, writing frankly about the racism and classism that infested the movement and about the numerous divisions and factions within the suffragette community. The reality of suffrage was a lot messier (and a lot more interesting) than I had been expecting, and I enjoyed learning about the complex relationships between the different players. The chapter on the role that Mormon women played in the fight for the vote was particularly fascinating, followed closely by the chapter on Rose Schneiderman, the working class suffragette and trade unionist who coined the political slogan “bread and roses”. In fact, there was only one chapter that I didn’t enjoy. Unfortunately, I disliked it so much that it significantly reduced my enjoyment of the book as a whole. The farmer suffragettes, Molly Dewson and Polly Porter, were every bit as remarkable as the other colourful characters in the book, but the way that they were discussed left a bad taste in my mouth. Reclaiming a slur is complicated and personal, and many members of the gay and lesbian community, myself included, are still uncomfortable using queer to describe ourselves. The author used this slur as a general term to describe behaviour considered strange or outside societal norms, from husbands supporting their wives when they became involved in suffrage to close female friendships and platonic cohabitation. Straight academics have no right to use queer to mark us as outside society and perpetuate the harmful belief that gay men and lesbians are somehow other. We just want to live and love in peace, and there is nothing strange about that in any time period.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Great book about the history of the Women’s Suffrage movement but importantly recognizes the many women and men behind the scenes. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because there are so very many names of suffragists throughout the book that it is hard to keep track of them all. I found it best to read one chapter and digest it and then read another later to keep all the names straight. Great book and I learned so much about the movement both here and in other parts of the world that I Great book about the history of the Women’s Suffrage movement but importantly recognizes the many women and men behind the scenes. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because there are so very many names of suffragists throughout the book that it is hard to keep track of them all. I found it best to read one chapter and digest it and then read another later to keep all the names straight. Great book and I learned so much about the movement both here and in other parts of the world that I did not know!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Diana Smith

    I liked how each chapter was its own story but linked to the broader theme of the suffrage movement. I also appreciated learning about some of the "foot-soldiers" of a movement that mobilized literally millions. We all know Susan B. Anthony but I loved reading about some of the lesser known suffragists.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan Bevers

    I enjoyed reading this. Very informative and highlighted many suffragists whom I had never heard of. Due to my own ignorance, I didn't realize just how much race was intertwined with women's suffrage and how racist even some of the white suffragists were. For instance, black women were supposed to be in back of parades. I enjoyed hearing the stories of how black women fought against this. I do not take it lightly reading this book in our current political climate. I will be thinking of these wome I enjoyed reading this. Very informative and highlighted many suffragists whom I had never heard of. Due to my own ignorance, I didn't realize just how much race was intertwined with women's suffrage and how racist even some of the white suffragists were. For instance, black women were supposed to be in back of parades. I enjoyed hearing the stories of how black women fought against this. I do not take it lightly reading this book in our current political climate. I will be thinking of these women and their sacrifices as I #vote2020. As the book concludes, "Feminism will always be necessary."

  10. 5 out of 5

    June Baer

    I really enjoyed the fact that this book focused on some of the lesser known women. It wasn't all about the big names that lead the suffragette movement. It was fascinating to read the stories of the women who fought for the right to vote. I also like that the author did not shrink away from mentioning that some of the leaders of the movement for the vote for women were racist and elitist. There were times I would have like a lot more information and stories on the women featured in the book. Th I really enjoyed the fact that this book focused on some of the lesser known women. It wasn't all about the big names that lead the suffragette movement. It was fascinating to read the stories of the women who fought for the right to vote. I also like that the author did not shrink away from mentioning that some of the leaders of the movement for the vote for women were racist and elitist. There were times I would have like a lot more information and stories on the women featured in the book. Then I would also think that if the author did go into the detail I wanted, the book would have been huge and I likely would not have picked it up to read. Instead I had an enjoyable read and now have a lot of name of individuals that I have to research.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Devany

    There is so much I didn’t know about the suffrage movement and the women involved in it. It was not something I was taught in school at any length. I am not generally a fan of non-fiction historical type books as I find them dry like this one was at times. But I did still enjoy it and the stories told. Ready to cast my vote in November and be heard- can’t let all that these women fought for go to waste!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    I didn't like the way this book was organized. I would have preferred a chronological order to the series of brief vignettes/biographies.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lyndee Pfaffenbach

    The layout of the book put it in different perspectives and led you to connecting with different people. I have grown as a feminist listening to this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tina Panik

    An outstanding, simultaneous perspective on the suffrage movement, as told through people, places, and objects of influence. Each of these 19 chapters (mirroring the 19th Amendment) presents a well-researched piece of this landmark history.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aimee

    The treatment of intersectionality feels a bit perfunctory, and the tone around some of the women's sexuality is downright silly, but this is an interesting project in that it combines collective biography and material culture studies. Consecutive chapters tell the story of the U.S. women's suffrage movement by describing the contributions of one or more relatively unsung participants. Each one features an object from the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in Americ The treatment of intersectionality feels a bit perfunctory, and the tone around some of the women's sexuality is downright silly, but this is an interesting project in that it combines collective biography and material culture studies. Consecutive chapters tell the story of the U.S. women's suffrage movement by describing the contributions of one or more relatively unsung participants. Each one features an object from the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Read for OEI book club.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Hatch

    This is a fantastic book for so many different audiences. If you’re wanting to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of women’s right to vote in someway. I highly recommend this read. It is SO engaging, accessible, and satisfying. Ware presents the story of a “lesser known” suffragist in each chapter and she writes cleanly with a wonderful voice. Go get it!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Madison Krumins

    A collection of stories of various suffragettes in the woman suffrage movement. I'm not a huge fan of biographies, but this was an incredibly educational read, and more engaging than I originally assumed it would be--the chapters throughout, which each focus on a different suffragette or facet of the movement, are varied enough to keep things interesting. There were some stories that made me happy, some that made me sad, some that made me angry. I loved the tributes to the suffragettes commonly e A collection of stories of various suffragettes in the woman suffrage movement. I'm not a huge fan of biographies, but this was an incredibly educational read, and more engaging than I originally assumed it would be--the chapters throughout, which each focus on a different suffragette or facet of the movement, are varied enough to keep things interesting. There were some stories that made me happy, some that made me sad, some that made me angry. I loved the tributes to the suffragettes commonly erased by history by White-washing and classism. I was interested to learn how Mormons played a role in the movement, how men interacted and sometimes participated, and how art and theatre was used to further the cause. Stories of women defying the gender norms and rules of the day, standing up for a cause they believed in, inspired me. Claiborne Catlin's suffrage pilgrimage. Women mountaineers planting "Votes for Women" flags on mountaintops. Learning of suffragettes who came to the movement as a place to feel "free to express a wide range of gender non-conforming behaviors" (pg. 162), who lived together with companions instead of marrying, or had nontraditional roles and balances in their marriages to men. Reading about the people and events preceding the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, in the year of its 100th anniversary, was pretty cool. Through the biographies of these women, I was able to see the struggle, sacrifice, energy, time, and life that was put into getting women the right to vote. It was also incredibly disheartening to take a deeper look into the racism and classism that pervaded the woman suffrage movement and still continues today in modern feminism. Going from reading chapters about the slogan of "women's rights are human's rights" straight into chapters about segregated marches and the active anti-Blackness of some sectors of the suffrage movement was incredibly disappointing. It's interesting that we are still fighting the battles that we're taught in schools have been solved in the past--women's and human rights being part of that. It's a sobering reminder that change is HARD. Women didn't get the vote with a pleasant, pretty, perfectly unified march as the images in our history textbooks often show us. Behind every moment, there are imperfections and struggle and blood, sweat, and tears. There are real human lives behind these movements. I think we can learn a lot from not only broader history, but closer biographical looks at the individuals who participate in making change. We can think of how we can do it on our own terms, in our own current times. There is still work to be done. Overall, 3.5/5 stars for everything I learned, and the thankfulness I will take to the polls this week when I go into vote.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    Excellent book filled with stories from the suffragists' lives, both well-known figures like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth, as well as lesser known (or unknown) women like Emmeline W. Wells, Claiborne Caitlin, and Mary Church Terrell. I appreciated Susan Ware's honesty about the key figures and their racist rationales for prioritizing white women's voting rights over African American women's rights. While this book isn't about racial justice, Ware acknowledges the Excellent book filled with stories from the suffragists' lives, both well-known figures like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth, as well as lesser known (or unknown) women like Emmeline W. Wells, Claiborne Caitlin, and Mary Church Terrell. I appreciated Susan Ware's honesty about the key figures and their racist rationales for prioritizing white women's voting rights over African American women's rights. While this book isn't about racial justice, Ware acknowledges the complex history of the fight for the right to vote. Ware has collected a delightful variety of stories and personalities. The focus of the book is clearly on the contributions of an amazing group of women (and a few men, especially at the end of the book when the path to the 19th Amendment comes down to a politician from Tennessee). As someone interested in women's rights and women's history, but far from an expert or even a seasoned reader on the topic, I found the book very accessible and a surprisingly quick read. The writing is clear and somewhat academic (but not too dry or dense). If you are the type of reader who needs to look new information up as you go, you might get a little bogged down at times. I found myself searching for the women's names online to learn more about them after having read the book. There is also a PBS special available to watch for free online: American Experience's "The Vote," in which Susan Ware appears as one of the experts being interviewed. The two-part documentary is about four hours long in total.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Clare Bird

    Alright Susan, you get five cage free birds out of five from me. I’m going to start with my only regret about this book. I wish I would have purchased it or done a hard copy instead of listen. This is one I would have liked to enjoy slowly and really studied… But alas I didn’t. Fun fact: Did you know I have a certificate from USU in Women and Gender Studies? So I do remember studying many of these brave women, but there were a few I had never heard of. It was intriguing to hear the paths these w Alright Susan, you get five cage free birds out of five from me. I’m going to start with my only regret about this book. I wish I would have purchased it or done a hard copy instead of listen. This is one I would have liked to enjoy slowly and really studied… But alas I didn’t. Fun fact: Did you know I have a certificate from USU in Women and Gender Studies? So I do remember studying many of these brave women, but there were a few I had never heard of. It was intriguing to hear the paths these women took so that I could vote today. I can’t even imagine being arrested for voting, but Susan B. Anthony was. I can’t believe that women (and that’s only WHITE) have only been able to vote for 100 years. Black women couldn’t vote until 1965! Before I voted this year, I wanted to take the time and build up my appreciation for my privilege to vote. I thank all of the women who fought for this and those who are still fighting. Such a great educational book focusing on so many different suffragists.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I have voted in every election and almost every primary in every district/state I've lived in since turning the legal age of 18. It is a right that I take very seriously. Reading this book to understand better how that right finally was given to women was important and enlightening. So much of our history classes gloss over this part of our American history and make it a footnote, rendering the women who fought for it barely known, if not practically invisible. I appreciated this book going into I have voted in every election and almost every primary in every district/state I've lived in since turning the legal age of 18. It is a right that I take very seriously. Reading this book to understand better how that right finally was given to women was important and enlightening. So much of our history classes gloss over this part of our American history and make it a footnote, rendering the women who fought for it barely known, if not practically invisible. I appreciated this book going into great detail about 19 of these amazing, brave ladies. I am happy to know the names of more suffragettes than just Susan B Anthony and Alice Paul in addition to learning more about the various tactics used to win this right. I hope to be able to convey the legacy and importance of their work to my own daughter as she grows and becomes an educated participant in our society.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate Lawrence

    Focusing on lesser-known women who influenced the suffrage campaign, we get a glimpse of the varied contributions of women of color, working class women, women writers and artists, even polygamous wives in 19th century Utah. The book also includes museum artifacts of suffrage campaigning as well. I was glad I already had some familiarity with the leading figures and basic trajectory of the suffrage movement before reading this. I would recommend that readers new to this subject go first to an ac Focusing on lesser-known women who influenced the suffrage campaign, we get a glimpse of the varied contributions of women of color, working class women, women writers and artists, even polygamous wives in 19th century Utah. The book also includes museum artifacts of suffrage campaigning as well. I was glad I already had some familiarity with the leading figures and basic trajectory of the suffrage movement before reading this. I would recommend that readers new to this subject go first to an account of the "official" history, such as the detailed "One Woman, One Vote", Marjorie Wheeler, ed. or the more approachable "Remember the Ladies" by Angela Dodson. Or perhaps watch the "One Woman, One Vote" documentary film from PBS. "Why They Marched" provides fascinating depth and background; however, I felt its lack of photos of the women profiled here was a serious omission.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeri Preston

    This read like an interesting academic paper, to me, a sum of separate research on people and events during the suffrage movement. My reading may have suffered from downloading PDFs of each chapter from a digital book; I really don't like reading digitally. So, there's that. I also felt the titling of some of the chapters was misleading; "Abroad" was more about Terrell's ability to speak to the intersectionality of being a black woman seeking the vote, while "Mountaineering," which did feature co This read like an interesting academic paper, to me, a sum of separate research on people and events during the suffrage movement. My reading may have suffered from downloading PDFs of each chapter from a digital book; I really don't like reading digitally. So, there's that. I also felt the titling of some of the chapters was misleading; "Abroad" was more about Terrell's ability to speak to the intersectionality of being a black woman seeking the vote, while "Mountaineering," which did feature conventions with side trips to Washington summits, was more interestingly about the infighting of leadership, particularly between Eaton and Hutton. This does not take away from the fact that I learned a lot about the movement and its key players. In that way, it was much like a book you'd be assigned for homework and less like an exposé of untold stories.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Merrill

    I enjoyed the approach of this book, highlighting those who significantly contributed to the suffrage movement whose stories don’t often get shared. There was so much new information, however, that it became a little confusing and daunting to finish. Each chapter is long enough to briefly recount a suffragist’s main story, but too short to make that individual extremely memorable. Because of this, when the suffragists are referred to in later chapters, I found it nearly impossible to recount the I enjoyed the approach of this book, highlighting those who significantly contributed to the suffrage movement whose stories don’t often get shared. There was so much new information, however, that it became a little confusing and daunting to finish. Each chapter is long enough to briefly recount a suffragist’s main story, but too short to make that individual extremely memorable. Because of this, when the suffragists are referred to in later chapters, I found it nearly impossible to recount their stories and contributions. This decreased my overall reading satisfaction, unfortunately, but I overall am glad I read it and did learn a lot about the movement.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Helene

    This was an easy read. Each 20 or so page chapter was a stand-alone highlighting one or a piece of the suffrage movement which made the book easy to pick up and put down. Well researched, yet easily accessible, this is book is a quick way for a brief history of this period. Ware includes not just the icons like Susan B. Anthony but the little know yet influential women (and one man representing all the supportive husbands) of the time. Susan Ware will be speaking at the Monadnock Summer Lyceum th This was an easy read. Each 20 or so page chapter was a stand-alone highlighting one or a piece of the suffrage movement which made the book easy to pick up and put down. Well researched, yet easily accessible, this is book is a quick way for a brief history of this period. Ware includes not just the icons like Susan B. Anthony but the little know yet influential women (and one man representing all the supportive husbands) of the time. Susan Ware will be speaking at the Monadnock Summer Lyceum this summer and I will be leading the Tuesday Academy with another book on the movement later this spring.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Kathy

    Why They Marched is a great compilation of many of the figures of importance to the Women’s Suffragist Movement in the United States. Susan Ware did an amazing job of research and writing to bring the stories of 19 Suffragettes back to life. This was not my first book on the subject and while there were some overlapping stories to those I had read before I learned so much new information from this read. The personal thoughts of the author seemed heavily weighted to me but that seems to be an aut Why They Marched is a great compilation of many of the figures of importance to the Women’s Suffragist Movement in the United States. Susan Ware did an amazing job of research and writing to bring the stories of 19 Suffragettes back to life. This was not my first book on the subject and while there were some overlapping stories to those I had read before I learned so much new information from this read. The personal thoughts of the author seemed heavily weighted to me but that seems to be an author’s political privilege of late. This is a very thorough historical account. If you can only read one book on women’s suffrage, this might be the best.

  26. 4 out of 5

    S.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is an inclusive history of suffragists in the U. S. Each chapter is centered around a different woman or women... and a physical object located at the Schlessinger Library at Radcliffe College. For instance, the book has a photo of a prison pin awarded to suffragists who spent time in prison for the cause (and I bought a reproduction pin on Etsy). Another image in the book is of Sojourner Truth's carte de visite, a souvenir portrait photo. I'm glad that the epilogue points out the obstruction This is an inclusive history of suffragists in the U. S. Each chapter is centered around a different woman or women... and a physical object located at the Schlessinger Library at Radcliffe College. For instance, the book has a photo of a prison pin awarded to suffragists who spent time in prison for the cause (and I bought a reproduction pin on Etsy). Another image in the book is of Sojourner Truth's carte de visite, a souvenir portrait photo. I'm glad that the epilogue points out the obstructions to voting for women of color after the 19th Amendment passed in 1920.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathy D

    I picked this book up at The Women's History Center in Denver a few weeks ago. It is incredible within this book to realize how many women are NOT recognized for their contributions to the suffrage movement. This movement's not so proud moments are in regards to the refusal to be inclusive of all women, regardless of color, and the author does not minimize this and even mentions the fallout and additional hurdles this caused. It is well worth a read to find out more of this movement and how it i I picked this book up at The Women's History Center in Denver a few weeks ago. It is incredible within this book to realize how many women are NOT recognized for their contributions to the suffrage movement. This movement's not so proud moments are in regards to the refusal to be inclusive of all women, regardless of color, and the author does not minimize this and even mentions the fallout and additional hurdles this caused. It is well worth a read to find out more of this movement and how it is critical for us to continue the work.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I loved this book! Not only did it make me feel like I was in college again (in a good, intellectual way) I also feel inspired to be more involved civically because the examples of the 19 women in this book show me the women can be involved in a myriad of ways. My favorite chapters were about Emmeline B. Wells and the story of Mormon suffrage (holla at my people) and the story of the Maud sisters. One of the things I loved about this book was the variety of experiences that women had fighting fo I loved this book! Not only did it make me feel like I was in college again (in a good, intellectual way) I also feel inspired to be more involved civically because the examples of the 19 women in this book show me the women can be involved in a myriad of ways. My favorite chapters were about Emmeline B. Wells and the story of Mormon suffrage (holla at my people) and the story of the Maud sisters. One of the things I loved about this book was the variety of experiences that women had fighting for and against suffrage.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    (Just FYI - With the suffrage centennial in 2020, this definitely won't be the last book I read on this topic.) This brilliant book tells some of the lesser-known stories of the women's suffrage movement, and each one is riveting and important, and I have some new role models. What an awesome way to get these women's (and a couple of mens') stories out there - stories that need to be told, especially as we're commemorating the centennial.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    I consider myself fairly well read when it comes to the suffrage movement, but there were some women included that I had never heard of before. I liked tying the stories to an artifact from the museum collection but there were a couple of times when I thought she was stretching the connection. Some of the chapters were repetitive but if you read them in short sittings that would not be as obvious.

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