It’s hard to choose just one book celebrating women’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment that was officially enacted a century ago this month, so we chose three for your reading consideration:
THE WOMAN’S HOUR: THE GREAT FIGHT TO WIN THE VOTE
By Elaine Weiss
The first half of The Woman’s Hour looks at the history of the women’s suffrage movement leading up to August 18, 1920, and the ratification of the 19th amendment in Nashville. The second half reads like a political thriller, giving a play-by-play of the events of that day and the days before it. It shows how close the amendment came to failing, how bribery, alcohol, racism, in-fighting and one mother’s guilt all came together to finally pass the amendment giving women the right to vote.
CRUSADE FOR JUSTICE: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF IDA B. WELLS
By Ida B. Wells
Ida B. Wells was a journalist, teacher and activist who was an ardent supporter of African American women’s suffrage. She co-founded the NAACP and started the Alpha Suffrage Club in Chicago. This memoir describes her life as a mother, her activism against white violence and lynching and her advocacy for African American women’s right to vote and participate in politics.
MR. PRESIDENT, HOW LONG MUST WE WAIT? ALICE PAUL, WOODROW WILSON, AND THE FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO VOTE
By Tina Cassid
While most suffragists practiced “polite activism,” Alice Paul took a militant approach that she learned in England. After England’s women won the right to vote, she came back home to the U.S. to practice what she’d learned. She became a thorn in Woodrow Wilson’s side as she picketed the White House and demanded face-to-face meetings with him. Her activism kept the movement in the press and eventually helped lead to the passage of the 19th amendment.