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The Woman's Hour by Elaine Weiss (ARC) - Review

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine F. Weiss follows a handful of brave women who fought for the right to vote with cameos from Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt. The narrative presented primarily takes place in Nashville, August 1920. By this time only one more state is required for ratification of the nineteenth amendment and everything falls on Tennessee. The opposition features politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and racists who don't want black women voting. There are also the 'Antis' - women who fear that their own enfranchisement will cause the moral collapse of the United States. All of these elements come together to face off in Nashville replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel's, and the Bible.

This history book by Elaine F. Weiss is easily one of the most readable and comprehensive books on the women's suffrage movement focusing on ratification and Tennessee that I have ever had the opportunity to read. I've been reading quite a bit lately about that time period and women's suffrage, but this is hands down the most informative when it comes to such a key moment in history. The author also does a fantastic job of integrating history of the movement into the primary as well - I, for one, particularly enjoyed seeing Victoria Woodhull's name get brought up since she's so often left out (I'm glad that people are really beginning to learn more about her life). The author also does a great job of starkly laying out all of the movement's detractors, so matter-of-factly detailing their means, methods, and motivations for being on the other side of history. Finally, I'd also like to mention that Weiss also does a brilliant job of making her history book feel incredibly timely. Of course, the main events in the book take place 98 years ago, but she still does a fantastic job of making their battle feel like fresh and current.

Overall, I highly recommend this new non-fiction book from Elaine F. Weiss all about everything finally coming together after a decades long struggle for women to cast their ballots. Every page of this inspiring 400+ page tome is inspiring and well worth your time. I will definitely be keeping my eyes out for future projects from this author.

I read this ARC from February 22 - 25, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.  This book will be released on March 6th.


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