The woman's hour The great fight to win the vote

Elaine F. Weiss, 1952-

Large print - 2018

Nashville, August 1920. The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, granting all women the vote, is on the verge of ratification -- or defeat. Out of the thirty-six states needed, thirty-five have approved it, and one last state is still in play -- Tennessee. After a seven-decade crusade to win the ballot, this is the moment of truth for the suffragists, and Nashville becomes a frenzied battleground as the enormous forces allied for and against women's suffrage make their last stand. Weiss recasts the saga of women's quest for the vote by focusing on the campaign's last six weeks, when it all came down to one ambivalent state.

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Thorndike Press large print popular and narrative nonfiction.
Waterville : Thorndike Press Large Print 2018.
Large print edition
Item Description
Originally published: New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, [2018].
Physical Description
791 pages (large print), 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 657-788).
Main Author
Elaine F. Weiss, 1952- (author)
  • To Nashville
  • Lay of the land
  • The feminist peril
  • The woman question
  • Democracy at home
  • The Governor's quandary
  • The blessing
  • On account of sex
  • Front porch
  • Home and Heaven
  • The woman's hour
  • Cranking the machine
  • Prison pin
  • Fieldwork
  • A real and threatening danger
  • War of the roses
  • In justice to womanhood
  • Terrorizing Tennessee manhood
  • Petticoat government
  • Armageddon
  • The hour has come
  • Liberty Bell
  • Election Day.
Review by Choice Review

With a unique focus on the final six weeks of the American women's suffrage campaign in the summer of 1920, Weiss brings history to life. In July 1920, with 35 states having voted in favor of ratifying the 19th Amendment, one more state was needed. Realizing that the Tennessee legislature was likely to be the last state in the foreseeable future to vote on women's suffrage, suffragist and anti-suffragist forces swarmed into the state to lobby the all-male legislators. Weiss explores how both sides used almost any means necessary to win votes, including bribery, and white suffragists' willingness to leave black women behind in their quest for the vote. This solidly researched book includes flashbacks to earlier events in the suffrage movement, and places the action in contemporary historical context. Although the outcome of the vote in Tennessee is well known, Weiss created a tension in the narrative that makes the book difficult to put down. It includes abundant illustrations. More detail in the citations would have made it more useful for scholars. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. --June Melby Benowitz, emeritus, University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission. Review by New York Times Review

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Copyright (c) The New York Times Company [May 20, 2018] Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* After 70 years of struggle to secure the right to vote for women, the fate of female suffrage hung on the tangled internal politics of Tennessee in August 1920. Powerful suffragists and anti-suffrage forces converged in Nashville as the state legislators met to decide if Tennessee would be the thirty-fifth and final vote needed to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. Twelve states had already rejected or refused to vote for the amendment. This was its last chance. In the sweltering heat of August, suffragists confronted the volatile mix of politics, commerce, and social change at the end of WWI and the start of Prohibition. Southern pols fretted about liquor and railroad interests, federal meddling, protection of southern womanhood, and a desire to suppress the black vote, not widen it with the addition of black women voters. Ratification was coming ahead of the presidential election in November, creating complications for politicians from Democratic president Woodrow Wilson to the governor and local pols. What would the future hold for any of them if women won the right to vote? All the while, the suffragists struggled with their own internecine battles over tactics and the legacy of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Weiss brings to life the fascinating characters at the heart of one of the most pivotal events in U.S. history with striking similarity to the social and political tensions of today.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Voice actor Gilbert does an excellent job narrating Weiss's well-researched account of the push to ratify the 19th Amendment in Tennessee in 1920. She relies on a clear, authoritative style for much of the book as she traverses through Weiss's dense script, which involves a large ensemble of women both for and against women's suffrage. The book culminates on August 18, 1920, at the 19th Amendment Ratification Convention in Nashville, as 96 members of the Tennessee House of Representatives gathered to cast their votes. Gilbert captures the excitement as she relays the drama of the day. The initial vote was a tie, and by the time a second vote was taken, a young Tennessee lawmaker named Harry Burn had a change of heart after rereading a letter from his mother telling him to vote "aye." Weiss illuminates this complex moment in the history of women's rights in America, and it's a testament to Gilbert's dramatic reading abilities that listeners will be rapt even though they know how the story ends. A Viking hardcover. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Weiss (Fruits of Victory) chronicles the crucial and contentious struggle to make Tennessee the final state to ratify the 19th Amendment during the sweltering summer of 1920. She traces the history of the suffrage movement, and profiles the principle players. Social, political, regional, economic, and racial factors complicated the fight. Suffragists were disunited; Carrie Catt (protégé of Susan B. Anthony) created the National American Women Suffrage Association, which warred with Alice Paul and Sue White's radical National Woman's Party. Tennesseans and other Southerners used trickery to prevent the imposition of yet another national amendment to invite federal election oversight and threaten white supremacy. Corporate interests believed female voters would threaten their corrupt stronghold over state government. President Woodrow Wilson courted women's votes to gain support for the League of Nations, and waffling presidential candidates used the suffrage issue to suit their advantage. VERDICT This well-researched and well-documented history reveals how prosuffragists sometimes compromised racial equality to win white women's enfranchisement, and that, although the 19th Amendment was ratified, there exists to this day an ongoing battle to effect universal, unrestricted suffrage. Essential for all libraries and readers interested in this vital issue. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," p. 29.]-Margaret Kappanadze, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

A history of the political battle in Tennessee in 1920 over the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.The approval by the Tennessee legislature would meet the requisite number of states to provide women the vote in all elections. The efforts by womenand plenty of mento secure universal suffrage date back to the beginning of the Republic, and journalist Weiss (Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War, 2008) weaves useful historical context throughout the book. But the tight focus on a few weeks in Nashville makes for a compelling narrative, marred only by an overabundance of detail about the many battles between the suffragists and their opponents. What strengthens the narrative are the author's minibiographies of primary characters in this "furious campaign"Carrie Chapman Catt ("it was [her] jobmore precisely, her life's missionto guide American women to the promised land of political freedom"), Alice Paul, Josephine Pearson, and Presidents Warren G. Harding and Woodrow Wilsonas well as of the less-well-known players (mostly Tennessee politicians and lobbyists). Pearson is the most visible of the women who opposed suffrage, believing that it posed a danger "to the American family, white supremacy, states' rights, and cherished southern traditions." Perhaps the most famous of the anti-suffragists was muckraking journalist Ida Tarbell, whom Weiss chronicles briefly. The author clearly explains how the opposition by womena stance that will surprise some modern readersderived partly from their desire to be sheltered from politics, partly from the negative influence of men in their lives, and partly from racism (providing ballots to white women would open the floodgates of black women voters).Although the outcome of the Tennessee drama is obviousafter all, we all know the amendment was ratifiedWeiss expertly builds the suspense, and the closeness of the eventual vote by the Tennessee legislature adds to the drama. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.