Reviewer Calls New Book On Women’s Suffrage “Highly Entertaining And Gravely Important”

Choice, which provides book reviews to more than 18,000 librarians, faculty members and key decision makers at schools and universities, has just posted its review of my book, Gilded Suffragists: The New York Socialites Who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote.

In its review, Choice Reviews, a division of the American Library Association, said it “highly recommended” the book to all public and academic levels and libraries. The reviewer also says the book, using the women’s suffrage movement, sheds light into how social change is made. “Particularly in light of recent political events and a nagging fear that common citizens—even those among the 1 percent—don’t make much of an impact on policy,” the reviewer wrote, “this volume underscores the power of grassroots actions and details the relentless efforts required to make lasting change.”

Choice is subscription-based, so I am unable to link to their reviews. Editors have given me permission to quote the review in its entirety. For those of you who have yet to read the book, take a look:

“Highly entertaining and gravely important, this is a wonderfully written history about wealthy New York women who mobilized for women’s suffrage. Neuman (American Univ.) traces the evolution of their unlikely rise to positions of leadership, and how they skillfully used their social class, sense of style, and celebrity to political advantage, challenging the popular idea that suffragettes were not feminine and underscoring the importance of appearances.

My favorite part of the review is at the end.The author allows her subjects to emerge as deeply individual and variously motivated, and demonstrates how each used her social relations—strengthened by marriage or merger, often both—to mobilize others. She demonstrates how the fight for the right to vote intersected with national and global events, including the sinking of the Titanic. The study also points to how these “gilded suffragettes” enlarged their tent to make room for women of all classes, creating a movement that could no longer be ignored. Particularly in light of recent political events and a nagging fear that common citizens—even those among the 1 percent—don’t make much of an impact on policy, this volume underscores the power of grassroots actions and details the relentless efforts required to make lasting change.”

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