Roses and Radicals:
This book begins in 1840, at the World Anti-Slavery Convention, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It progresses to the Seneca Falls Convention, the Civil War, and various American groups devoted to legalizing women's voting rights.
Profiling a number of historical figures, Zimet walks readers through events in history and how, for example, many people believed it was too difficult to convince the public to give both African-Americans and women the right to vote at the same time. Some of the figures, including Stanton, are shown to have racist views, in spite of their anti-slavery positions, and that is surprising and disappointing. The distance between the first serious efforts to legalize voting for women and the time it became legal also seems depressing - about 75 years.
Although the book covers a fairly large time span, it is a quick read, interspersing the main narrative with biographical segments and spotlights on related historical movements. The book strives to make more women from history more visible to contemporary audiences, to show that efforts to make meaningful change might be difficult, but possible.
"In this case, as in so many others, the personal was the political. Stanton's fate was the fate of so many women like her, not to mention the many more women without the means to hire servants to assist them."
If you like this book, you may also like . . .