Monday, July 2, 2018

Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot

Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot is a well written book about the history of the suffrage movement in the USA, along with interesting and enlightening commentary on how the movement affected (and was affected by) other social and political movements of the day, such as civil rights for people of color.

This book draws a thread throughout the narrative with a connected timeline.  It's almost incredible to think (and shiver over) how close the whole process came to failing at so many points.  The fact that it more or less came down to the vote of one young Tennessee representative (Harry T. Burn) at that critical point and a letter from his mother might have made the difference is crazy.

Author Winifred Conkling has extensive experience writing about nonfiction subjects for young adults.  Her writing style is no-nonsense and easy to read.  The book makes what could easily have been a very dry subject come alive with anecdotes and excerpts from extant letters and other documents.  The book is marketed to the YA market, and while I agree that it would be perfectly appropriate and readable to the average YA audience, it's also interesting for adults.  I learned quite a lot reading the book as well (and it's been a few decades since I was a young adult myself :) ).

The political climate in much of the world today is fraught.  Every time we look at the newspaper there's something new to shock and dismay us.  It's critically important for everyone to educate themselves about our political history because it's not just an old adage to say that if we don't understand the past, we're doomed to repeat it. 

Four stars, interesting and well worth a read.

320 pages, ebook, hardbound and audiobook formats.
Published February 13, 2018 by Algonquin Young Readers

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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