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New Women in the Old West: From Settlers to Suffragists, an Untold American Story

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A riveting history of the American West told for the first time through the pioneering women who used the challenges of migration and settlement as opportunities to advocate for their rights, and transformed the country in the process Between 1840 and 1910, hundreds of thousands of men and women traveled deep into the underdeveloped American West, lured by the prospect of a A riveting history of the American West told for the first time through the pioneering women who used the challenges of migration and settlement as opportunities to advocate for their rights, and transformed the country in the process Between 1840 and 1910, hundreds of thousands of men and women traveled deep into the underdeveloped American West, lured by the prospect of adventure and opportunity, and galvanized by the spirit of Manifest Destiny. Alongside this rapid expansion of the United States, a second, overlapping social shift was taking place: survival in a settler society busy building itself from scratch required two equally hardworking partners, compelling women to compromise eastern sensibilities and take on some of the same responsibilities as their husbands. At a time when women had very few legal or economic--much less political--rights, these women soon proved they were just as essential as men to westward expansion. Their efforts to attain equality by acting as men's equals paid off, and well before the Nineteenth Amendment, they became the first American women to vote. During the mid-nineteenth century, the fight for women's suffrage was radical indeed. But as the traditional domestic model of womanhood shifted to one that included public service, the women of the West were becoming not only coproviders for their families but also town mothers who established schools, churches, and philanthropies. At a time of few economic opportunities elsewhere, they claimed their own homesteads and graduated from new, free coeducational colleges that provided career alternatives to marriage. In 1869, the men of the Wyoming Territory gave women the right to vote--partly to persuade more of them to move west--but with this victory in hand, western suffragists fought relentlessly until the rest of the region followed suit. By 1914 most western women could vote--a right still denied to women in every eastern state. In New Women in the Old West, Winifred Gallagher brings to life the riveting history of the little-known women--the White, Black, and Asian settlers, and the Native Americans and Hispanics they displaced--who played monumental roles in one of America's most transformative periods. Like western history in general, the record of women's crucial place at the intersection of settlement and suffrage has long been overlooked. Drawing on an extraordinary collection of research, Gallagher weaves together the striking legacy of the persistent individuals who not only created homes on weather-wracked prairies and built communities in muddy mining camps, but also played a vital, unrecognized role in the women's rights movement and forever redefined the American woman.


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A riveting history of the American West told for the first time through the pioneering women who used the challenges of migration and settlement as opportunities to advocate for their rights, and transformed the country in the process Between 1840 and 1910, hundreds of thousands of men and women traveled deep into the underdeveloped American West, lured by the prospect of a A riveting history of the American West told for the first time through the pioneering women who used the challenges of migration and settlement as opportunities to advocate for their rights, and transformed the country in the process Between 1840 and 1910, hundreds of thousands of men and women traveled deep into the underdeveloped American West, lured by the prospect of adventure and opportunity, and galvanized by the spirit of Manifest Destiny. Alongside this rapid expansion of the United States, a second, overlapping social shift was taking place: survival in a settler society busy building itself from scratch required two equally hardworking partners, compelling women to compromise eastern sensibilities and take on some of the same responsibilities as their husbands. At a time when women had very few legal or economic--much less political--rights, these women soon proved they were just as essential as men to westward expansion. Their efforts to attain equality by acting as men's equals paid off, and well before the Nineteenth Amendment, they became the first American women to vote. During the mid-nineteenth century, the fight for women's suffrage was radical indeed. But as the traditional domestic model of womanhood shifted to one that included public service, the women of the West were becoming not only coproviders for their families but also town mothers who established schools, churches, and philanthropies. At a time of few economic opportunities elsewhere, they claimed their own homesteads and graduated from new, free coeducational colleges that provided career alternatives to marriage. In 1869, the men of the Wyoming Territory gave women the right to vote--partly to persuade more of them to move west--but with this victory in hand, western suffragists fought relentlessly until the rest of the region followed suit. By 1914 most western women could vote--a right still denied to women in every eastern state. In New Women in the Old West, Winifred Gallagher brings to life the riveting history of the little-known women--the White, Black, and Asian settlers, and the Native Americans and Hispanics they displaced--who played monumental roles in one of America's most transformative periods. Like western history in general, the record of women's crucial place at the intersection of settlement and suffrage has long been overlooked. Drawing on an extraordinary collection of research, Gallagher weaves together the striking legacy of the persistent individuals who not only created homes on weather-wracked prairies and built communities in muddy mining camps, but also played a vital, unrecognized role in the women's rights movement and forever redefined the American woman.

30 review for New Women in the Old West: From Settlers to Suffragists, an Untold American Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    The 1 star rating is actually 0.5 stars. The 0.5 stars rating is because this book happens to contain some useful information about historical events and women's suffrage. I have not actually finished the book (I am 80 pages in), and I intend to finish, but I thought it was important to write this review so people can see it. If anything in the remaining pages convinces me that my opinions were at all incorrect, this review will be updated. EDIT: the book has been finished, and edits have been m The 1 star rating is actually 0.5 stars. The 0.5 stars rating is because this book happens to contain some useful information about historical events and women's suffrage. I have not actually finished the book (I am 80 pages in), and I intend to finish, but I thought it was important to write this review so people can see it. If anything in the remaining pages convinces me that my opinions were at all incorrect, this review will be updated. EDIT: the book has been finished, and edits have been made. In the introduction, "Unsettling Women", the author Winnifred Gallagher writes, "This book explores the lives of such courageous individuals, who emerged among the White, Black, and Asian women new to the West, and the Native American and Hispanic people they displaced...". The kindest thing to say is that this is a blatant lie. Gallagher is very interested in marking the progress of women's rights, championing women who made the journey west to unconquered or in-the-process-of-being-conquered territory. Their lives were often hard, but the labor they participated in by virtue of being in a survival mindset and away from the more strictly segregated social strata of the East caused many women to more easily win rights (such as property, divorce, or the vote) and later, many Western states enshrined those rights in their constitutions before Eastern states. Gallagher, however, says 'women' very often when what she means is white women (it struck me as sketchy from the beginning that she capitalizes white the same way it has become industry standard to capitalize Black; I do not think it's appropriate for these two groups to be equated the way it seems she is doing). Gallagher focuses for eighty pages straight on the minutiae of white women's lives, drawing from pioneer diaries and old records (presumably). An ordinary pioneer wife has half a chapter, while the wealthy, contemporary Black entrepreneur of historical fame, Mary Pleasant, gets a passing sentence or two. This is not for a lack of sources; Pleasant wrote her own autobiography. Rather, the continuing lack of interest in offering Black women their own voice in the narrative seems to be simply because Gallagher didn't want them there, or because she didn't feel like trying to find autobiographical sources from such famous names as Sojourner Truth (who gets a single passing mention in the middle of a paragraph). Black suffragettes with far more interesting careers (such as Hattie Redmond) are regularly consolidated into smaller sections than their white counterparts. A handful of Hispanic women get paragraph-long mentions, and the discussion of Asian women is dominated by information about white-savior organizations which took in Chinese sexual trafficking victims. Most gallingly, Gallagher writes about amazingly accredited Native women such as Zitkala-Sa, women who became famous in their time and led incredible lives, with only two or three pages dedicated to each. Gallagher is wildly irresponsible with her portrayal of colonialism and the Native Americans who were "displaced" by the ever-widening reach of white Americans. An actual quote is "Native peoples were robbed of most of their lands, but...that tragedy generally had little to do with homesteading claims, most of which were filed after the major damage had been done" (p.79). I am not well read enough on the subject to source a rebuttal, but as far as I am aware, this is patently untrue; in one of the Little House On The Prairie books, based in reality, the Ingalls family at one point ventures into a new territory merely in expectation of the American government soon claiming it. In discussing residential schools and loss of land, Gallagher prefers to focus on the perspective of white women who came to reservations to preach assimilation (and Christianity), pardoning their racism as "benevolent" and dwelling on it as little as possible, while entirely failing to mention the rampant deaths of children that occurred at these schools, an absolutely unpardonable offense in light of the current discoveries of hundreds of dead children per school in Canada and the United States. She goes so far as to suggest reservation life was actually beneficial, as it allowed Native women to focus more time on developing their artistic skills. You know what else would allow them to develop their arts? Not starving on a reservation while their children were kidnapped away to have their cultural practices like traditional art beaten out of them. Native Americans are reduced to either faceless, rationale-less enemies or toothless, unthreatening, personality-less cardboard cutouts, with the occasional interlude of a famous woman who can't be quoted TOO much, unlike the white women filling the other pages. Oh, and forget about ever hearing what the Chippewa or Apache or Navajo or Paiute or Lakota women thought about these #girlboss white women pioneers coming in and stealing their land in order to make some money for themselves, or coming in to "benevolently" "civilize" them. Gallagher writes about the colonial era, focusing specifically on areas that are being freshly colonized, with a deep refusal to acknowledge the full scope of colonialism, the damage done to Native Americans because of it (such as the killing off of bison to the brink of extinction and the cultural genocide of Native children), or the white settlers' share of responsibility for it. White settlers, who reaped the economic rewards of land that had been cleared of its original inhabitants and stewards, are completely pardoned. White women who benefited economically from being employed as teachers to educate them in white ways are excused as "having good intentions". Whatever nasty historical facts such as colonial violence or racial bigotry which Gallagher doesn't want to acknowledge are simply turned invisible, whereas Gallagher's own worldview is quite visibly filtered through a lens of white supremacy and white (self-)importance despite her claims to diversity. This book, ostensibly about the colonial world, absolutely refuses to acknowledge all but the most sugar-coated, aimed-at-seven-year-olds facts about pioneer life in the colonial West, and because of this, it is an absolute failure of historical nonfiction, and Winnifred Gallagher, whose author bio lists such an acclaimed career, should be ashamed to have produced a work of such transparently lazy, racist writing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This would be a great book to include in the required reading for an American history class focused on westward expansion or on women's fight for suffrage. It shines a welcome spotlight on the sometimes overlooked contributions of women. However, it reads too much like a history textbook (albeit one written from a progressive point of view) to be very enjoyable reading for the non-academic reader. We get lots of biographical and historical facts, but not enough personality. Winifred Gallagher has This would be a great book to include in the required reading for an American history class focused on westward expansion or on women's fight for suffrage. It shines a welcome spotlight on the sometimes overlooked contributions of women. However, it reads too much like a history textbook (albeit one written from a progressive point of view) to be very enjoyable reading for the non-academic reader. We get lots of biographical and historical facts, but not enough personality. Winifred Gallagher has tried to give so many women their due that she doesn't tell us enough about them to make them interesting. I was disappointed that she gives us so few of their actual words even though there definitely were those who left us their writings. For example, I have read Elinore Pruitt Stewart's "Letters of a Woman Homesteader," and felt Gallagher could have done more to let those words breathe some life into her character. Overall, this would have been a better book if it had given us more about a smaller number of women. The reality is that when you read a ton of short biographical accounts, you aren't likely to remember any of them.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lance

    Not my normal cup of tea, but I really enjoyed the way the book was written. The focus on individuals and their contributions, small or large, was fun to read about. It is incredible to see how influential some of these women were yet I have until now not even known their names. Would definitely recommend reading if you’re into the history of the west, as this book tells an important half of the story, that of the new woman in the old west.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Socraticgadfly

    Problematic and pretentious First, the problematic? Four big issues here. One is the term “The Greater Reconstruction,” which I had never heard of before, and I’m pretty well-read in American history. Well, Google had less than 20K hits for it, first. That explains something. As for what it is? It’s the combining, by some historians, of Western settlement and related with Reconstruction itself. And, I agree with critics. If one really packs that all in, it becomes just a metaphor. NO, I don’t agree Problematic and pretentious First, the problematic? Four big issues here. One is the term “The Greater Reconstruction,” which I had never heard of before, and I’m pretty well-read in American history. Well, Google had less than 20K hits for it, first. That explains something. As for what it is? It’s the combining, by some historians, of Western settlement and related with Reconstruction itself. And, I agree with critics. If one really packs that all in, it becomes just a metaphor. NO, I don’t agree, because I think that is itself not critical enough. At worst, it’s an insult to historical study of the Reconstruction itself. Problematic, part 2? Gallagher appears to show plenty of concern for “people of color” in general and women of color in particular. She also likes to talk a lot about how the Morrill Act and its founding of land-grant colleges was a part in settlement of the West. She NEVER mentions how much of the “granted” land behind the “State U’s” rather than just “U’s,” or “A&M’s,” was land stolen from American Indians after the breaking of treaties. There’s been a SPATE of writing about this in the last couple-few years, and she mentions NONE of it. Problematic, part 3? Gallagher claims that “many Native people had already been segregated on lands called reservations” (direct quote) at the start of Western settlement. She specifically dates this to 1845, the date the first White woman she mentions in the book, moved west. Not so much, at a minimum, and actually factually wrong. First, the first formal reservations weren’t created until 1851, though, of course, tribes east of the Mississippi had been shoved west of it long before that. Most tribes that already lived west of the Mississippi, let alone west of the 95th meridian and even more, west of the 100th meridian “dry line” — in other words, the “West” and the target of Anglo settlement — were not at all “confined” at this time. Problematic, part 4, to go from the “Greater Reconstruction” to Reconstruction? She repeatedly mentions the Exodusters, but never once mentions the town of Nicodemus, Kansas, the one remaining incorporated community in the West founded by Reconstruction-era Blacks leaving the South. Nor does she mention that Blacks who left the South for the Midwest who tried to farm on Homestead Act lands, instead of working in cities, found the best lands already taken. Pretentious? Repeated use of “feme covert” instead of “hidden feminist.” “Sequelae” instead of “sequels.” Also in the first 50 pages, I came across one presumption that Gallagher doesn’t actually defend. Were Puritan women “powerless”? There’s other, smaller issues, like grammatical or grammar-spelling. It’s “semiarid,” not “semi arid.” There is lots of interesting information, and lots of interesting individual women, including non-White women, but this book BADLY needed a better editor AND needs an author with less presumptuousness about how much she knows about Western history. And, it’s ONLY the number of interesting women in the book that saves this review from a one-star kick. In short, not only can I not recommend this book, but I DO recommend AGAINST reading other books by Winifred Gallagher. All of the problems above popped up, or lack of writing about them fully popped up, in just the first 50 pages.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Doherty

    Oh goodness I loved everything about this read! I kept having flash back's to Mikki Kendall's Hood Feminism for it's keen ability to elevate all classes, races and suppressed voices, while deftly highlighting the landscape of who could, and could not be seen as valuable, within our culture. The narrative starts out when men would head west to claim land, bringing their wives to only discover both would have to equally work to survive. This crossed threshold exposed not only how feminine equity w Oh goodness I loved everything about this read! I kept having flash back's to Mikki Kendall's Hood Feminism for it's keen ability to elevate all classes, races and suppressed voices, while deftly highlighting the landscape of who could, and could not be seen as valuable, within our culture. The narrative starts out when men would head west to claim land, bringing their wives to only discover both would have to equally work to survive. This crossed threshold exposed not only how feminine equity was legitimately well handled in the home, but also at work, in education and politics. All of this years prior to suffragettes fighting for placement; women in the west created a legacy that has continued to our current day, and our national culture~ This delightfully eye opening read is as page turning as it is educational and empowering. Galley borrowed from the publisher.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    This is a good account of women's contributions to the settlement of the American West, as well as their work toward suffrage. But it also is a good reminder of how those same women upheld and perpetuated the colonial biases and stereotypes against indigenous populations, African-Americans and Hispanic populations. The baseless condescension toward these "other women" was shameful and counterproductive, especially when they were all in the same struggle for survival. It was only when inclusive c This is a good account of women's contributions to the settlement of the American West, as well as their work toward suffrage. But it also is a good reminder of how those same women upheld and perpetuated the colonial biases and stereotypes against indigenous populations, African-Americans and Hispanic populations. The baseless condescension toward these "other women" was shameful and counterproductive, especially when they were all in the same struggle for survival. It was only when inclusive coalitions were formed that real progress toward suffrage was made, but sadly, not much progress toward hearfelt equity.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    The American West has been studied extensively but "New Women in the Old West" finds a way to discuss those that history often overlooks. Gallaghar explores both strides and setbacks to the position of women in American society, focusing specifically on how these changes were brought about and how they affected women differently based on a woman’s socioeconomic status, race, and sexuality. A good read for anyone who wants to explore what was happening "behind the scenes" during every other Histo The American West has been studied extensively but "New Women in the Old West" finds a way to discuss those that history often overlooks. Gallaghar explores both strides and setbacks to the position of women in American society, focusing specifically on how these changes were brought about and how they affected women differently based on a woman’s socioeconomic status, race, and sexuality. A good read for anyone who wants to explore what was happening "behind the scenes" during every other History of the American West book you've read--"New Women in the Old West" brings those players center stage.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anne Morgan

    An interesting overview of the role of women in the American West from the 1830s to the early twentieth century. Here, author Winifred Gallagher uses brief glimpses into the lives of a variety of women to build her argument of what women brought to the American West. Unlike in the East and South, women traveling to the West quickly became the (often unacknowledged) equal to their male counterparts. In a hard world where plenty needed to be done, the separate spheres of “men’s” and “women’s” work An interesting overview of the role of women in the American West from the 1830s to the early twentieth century. Here, author Winifred Gallagher uses brief glimpses into the lives of a variety of women to build her argument of what women brought to the American West. Unlike in the East and South, women traveling to the West quickly became the (often unacknowledged) equal to their male counterparts. In a hard world where plenty needed to be done, the separate spheres of “men’s” and “women’s” work disappeared in the need to survive and prosper. Over time, many of these women became the leaders of the movement for women to have the right to vote and Gallagher does a good job of charting the progress of the movement and why it was more likely to take hold in the West than in the East. Well written and clearly carefully researched, this book provides a good introduction to women’s roles in shaping the American West and the eventual national right to vote. I received an Arc of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mallory Mac

    I get the mixed reviews. The author clearly did a lot of research. The book contains many interesting facts. But it lacks a cohesive narrative. It's disjointed. And the book jacket is misleading.* If you're looking for a compendium of untold stories of women in the Old West, especially alternative biographies to the traditional white settler, then you will not like this book. The author does touch on some Native American, Mexican, and Black women, but they're typically glossed over and account fo I get the mixed reviews. The author clearly did a lot of research. The book contains many interesting facts. But it lacks a cohesive narrative. It's disjointed. And the book jacket is misleading.* If you're looking for a compendium of untold stories of women in the Old West, especially alternative biographies to the traditional white settler, then you will not like this book. The author does touch on some Native American, Mexican, and Black women, but they're typically glossed over and account for perhaps 5-10% of the actual book. If you're looking for a detailed history of how (mostly white) women in the Old West fared relative to their counterparts in the East - namely in terms of responsibilities, sense of independence, and how they advocated for and were granted suffrage rights, then you'll enjoy the book. *I found the book jacket misleading because the book's actual synopsis stated, in part, "Gallagher brings to life the riveting history of the little-known women--the White, Black, and Asian settlers, and the Native Americans and Hispanics they displaced--who played monumental roles in one of America's most transformative periods." And the first review on the back of the book cover is, "Winifred weaves her multiracial and multiethnic cast of characters into a fascinating story..." Again, 90% of the book is about white characters and probably 40% of the book is about policies and not actual human stories. So keep that in mind when managing expectations. Lastly, separate from the above review, I did take exception to a few of the editing choices in the book. Namely, the decision to capitalize 'White' women and settlers. Also with a few conclusions the authors came to seemingly without sufficient evidence. One example was her coverage of prostitutes during the California gold rush. She stated that they sometimes showed up in the census as single, wealthy women. This was just after a chapter where she highlighted an entrepreneurial woman who amassed almost a million dollars in today's money by opening a boarding house and restaurant. So why the supposition that single, wealthy women had to earn their money as prostitutes? Maybe this was true, but the lack of examples or supporting facts to come to this conclusion really gave me pause. All in all, it's hard for me to recommend that people NOT read a book. Even with the above criticisms, I still enjoyed reading the book and found many interesting facts and even references to characters not well-covered who I will later research. So if this is a topic that you find interesting, I'd still check it out and just take the synopsis and critical reviews with a grain of salt.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    New Woman in the Old West is the fascinating story the period of history that spans from the opening of the western territories to homesteading through the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 giving women the right to vote. The Homestead Act, signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, provided a chance for anyone who was willing to stake a claim and improve the land to become a property owner. The challenges of homesteading meant that female roles in families and communities were expanded due to the d New Woman in the Old West is the fascinating story the period of history that spans from the opening of the western territories to homesteading through the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 giving women the right to vote. The Homestead Act, signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, provided a chance for anyone who was willing to stake a claim and improve the land to become a property owner. The challenges of homesteading meant that female roles in families and communities were expanded due to the demands of homesteading, women performing heavy farm work along with their husbands. The demand to increase the number of people, and particularly women, in the West created opportunities for women to step outside the strict confines of Victorian home life. Some women homesteaded their own claims, many entered colleges to become teachers. Some became doctors and studied law. As women proved themselves in new arenas, and as critical members of their communities, the fight for suffrage drew attention and support. In fact, western states led in ratifying the right for women to vote. New Women in the Old West weaves together the progression of women's roles over the almost sixty years after the passage of the Homestead Act with stories of individual, ground-breaking women, homesteaders, teachers, "cowgirls", political activists, including the stories of Native, Hispanic, and Mormon women. I loved this engaging book! I met many new women and expanded my understanding of the time and the efforts of many that it takes to create social and political change.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan Waller

    A diverse cross section of women are profiled in inspiring, often short, biographies. When you think about how little information is available about these women, the amount of research needed to pull together even short bios is impressive. Much of the focus is on women who were active in the suffrage movement, but not all. The book illustrates how the rough-and-ready ethos of the old west enabled women to play a more active role than their more restricted eastern counterparts. I didn't realize th A diverse cross section of women are profiled in inspiring, often short, biographies. When you think about how little information is available about these women, the amount of research needed to pull together even short bios is impressive. Much of the focus is on women who were active in the suffrage movement, but not all. The book illustrates how the rough-and-ready ethos of the old west enabled women to play a more active role than their more restricted eastern counterparts. I didn't realize that Mexican law gave women higher status than U.S. law: "Thanks to more egalitarian Mexican-American civil law, women had long enjoyed legal perquisites that many American women aspired to. Mexican wives could sue in court, make contracts, and own, inherit, and control property. Among the landed gentry, some had rights to all-important water as well as land and cattle, and even poor women could write wills to bequeath their humble household goods. Their economic and legal power gave Mexican women a strong say in family affairs and standing in their communities." Duniway "The debt that each generation owes to the past it must pay to the future." Esther Pohl Lovejoy

  12. 4 out of 5

    April Kniess

    The untold stories of countless frontier women who courageously and without due credit helped form our nation. Their leadership and forward thinking accomplished churches, schools, charities, enfranchisement, women's club and organizations. The achievements of (firsts) women lawyers, doctors, teachers, congresswomen, architects, journalists etc who never received the credit of being the pioneers for future women. Great read and it makes you proud of all the contributions from women that may neve The untold stories of countless frontier women who courageously and without due credit helped form our nation. Their leadership and forward thinking accomplished churches, schools, charities, enfranchisement, women's club and organizations. The achievements of (firsts) women lawyers, doctors, teachers, congresswomen, architects, journalists etc who never received the credit of being the pioneers for future women. Great read and it makes you proud of all the contributions from women that may never had happened without their future thinking and drive. The perseverance of woman that, in many cases were the orchestrators of so much under the guise of a man's name because of existing law. Property owners, business owners etc. Suffragists that led the way.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tommie Nicholas

    Starts slow, but is an interesting look at the history of women as it relates to women and the fight for equality. The book mainly focuses on the fight for the right to vote. However, it begins further back with women being unable to own land, inherit land from a dead spouse. They were forbidden from starting a business, starting a homestead or support themselves without a man's support. Interestingly the push to allow women to support themselves began in the western states and then spread very Starts slow, but is an interesting look at the history of women as it relates to women and the fight for equality. The book mainly focuses on the fight for the right to vote. However, it begins further back with women being unable to own land, inherit land from a dead spouse. They were forbidden from starting a business, starting a homestead or support themselves without a man's support. Interestingly the push to allow women to support themselves began in the western states and then spread very slowly to the east.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    An informative look at the multiracial and multiethnic make up of women during the merging of the western states and its territories that brought a progressive, ambitious, and do everything attitude to the region as they left the Eastern attitudes of Victorian womanhood behind, and carved out a new story as they fought for survival, independence, individualism and above all the right to be considered equal citizens in the expanding and growing county between 1840, and 1910.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I'm quite disappointed in New Women in the Old West. The topic is fascinating and women's struggles for equality, both in the West and in the East, are an important aspect of history that is not told often enough. However, the disorganization of this book was both confusing and frustrating. I blame the editor and not the author for this one - this could have and should have been a really great book. I'm quite disappointed in New Women in the Old West. The topic is fascinating and women's struggles for equality, both in the West and in the East, are an important aspect of history that is not told often enough. However, the disorganization of this book was both confusing and frustrating. I blame the editor and not the author for this one - this could have and should have been a really great book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    The author did a lot of research, much appreciated. The diverse women showcased are each deserving of their own book (or movie). Such brave, determined ladies! I was unfamiliar with the majority of them so I enjoyed learning these interesting history lessons. I kept getting lost, the author seems to jump all over the place. I listened to the audio so this probably added to my confusion - I might have been able to keep track better if I'd read the print version. The author did a lot of research, much appreciated. The diverse women showcased are each deserving of their own book (or movie). Such brave, determined ladies! I was unfamiliar with the majority of them so I enjoyed learning these interesting history lessons. I kept getting lost, the author seems to jump all over the place. I listened to the audio so this probably added to my confusion - I might have been able to keep track better if I'd read the print version.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Interesting history about going west and the women who gave so much. You think about the times, have it changed much? The white distrusted the blacks, the blacks distrusted the Mexicans, poor Indians lost their land - shame we haven’t moved forward! Some of the ‘famous’ women of the time had their prejudices - which you would have hoped they wouldn’t have them!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Terry Tschann Skelton

    Pretty comprehensive. Young women who take their rights for granted should read this to learn how many woman devoted their lives to acquiring the right to vote in their own country and how long it took!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Petersen

    This is a very interesting book about the women who helped build the West in the 1800s. The book also looks at contributions to help women secure the right to vote, first state by state then nationally via the 19th amendment.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura Chase

    Interesting read, although not a quick read. It's one to pick up and put down. Interesting read, although not a quick read. It's one to pick up and put down.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    Outstanding! 12 Women who "pioneered" and made a difference from and/or in the western USA Outstanding! 12 Women who "pioneered" and made a difference from and/or in the western USA

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Actually I didn’t finish this book. I skimmed through the 2nd half. It’s so well researched and a great in depth look at the women who founded the West.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madison Lang

    I only wish it were possible to do a deeper dive into each prominent woman mentioned in the book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    PottWab Regional Library

    SM

  25. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    Interesting stories but not sure why the author feels the need to describe about 30% of the subjects as “beautiful, “attractive,” etc. I don’t see authors describe male subjects this way.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Interesting content but presented in a chaotic way. Her writing style/ word usage weren't for me either. Would have benefitted from a more involved editor. Interesting content but presented in a chaotic way. Her writing style/ word usage weren't for me either. Would have benefitted from a more involved editor.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sue Dorn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Morrel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mikaela

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

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