This engaging account of the conflict surrounding the enactment of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, is an extensively researched, easy-to-follow narrative. Cassidy makes the struggle personal by providing telling insights into the lives of two main adversaries ... Details abound, whether appearing in biographical anecdotes, records of sordid prison conditions, or evolving slogans on protest placards. Readers will come away with increased appreciation for these heroic efforts devoted to women’s suffrage plus new-found empathy for the combatants on both sides.
...a vivid chronicle of the suffrage movement that may prove a bit disappointingly thin for some ... That said, Cassidy crafts a lively narrative of the struggle’s final six years, from the Suffrage Parade organized by Paul that filled the streets of Washington the day before Wilson’s inauguration in March 1913 to Senate passage of the amendment in June 1919. (Ratification gets a skimpy seven pages.) She also does a good job sketching Paul’s and Wilson’s lives before they first faced off at a meeting in the Oval Office shortly after the parade. Her cogent sketch of Paul’s youth limns a fiery progressive ... Cassidy’s portrait of Wilson’s early years is less successful as it feels somewhat slanted, emphasizing as it does his Southern roots (he was a child in Georgia during the Civil War) and his defense of slavery and championship of states’ rights ... Cassidy does well with her you-are-there descriptions of the Suffrage Parade and three subsequent meetings between Wilson and suffragists, which led Paul to conclude only militant tactics would prod him to action. Throughout the book, Cassidy draws on contemporary newspaper accounts to colorfully convey what it was like to be in the room or on the streets ... She comes up a bit shorter on analysis and context ... a brisk, readable narrative that would be a pleasure for those who’ve either forgotten or are curious about the saga of women’s suffrage in America. But those seeking a more detailed, thoughtful assessment of the movement and its relevance for 21st-century social justice crusades will be less satisfied.
... a compact and energetic study ... Ms. Cassidy effectively evokes the slow grind of [Paul's] fight [with Wilson]... Clearly aware that race is a central question for the suffrage movement’s legacy today, Ms. Cassidy is scrupulous in detailing instances of Paul’s inclusivity...
Cassidy...briefly traces the early careers of women's right activist Alice Paul and former U.S. president Woodrow Wilson before centering her narrative on Paul's aggressive 1913–20 suffragist strategy that, she implies, defined the evolution of Wilson's views ... General readers will appreciate this treatment of the efforts of Paul, a heroine of the women's rights movement.
A remarkable tale of the woman who drove the fight for women’s suffrage ... This book should be required reading until Alice Paul becomes a household name. She not only fought for voting rights and the 19th Amendment; she kept fighting for another 50 years.