- About the Book
The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. "Anyone interested in the history of our country's ongoing fight to put its founding values into practice--as well as those seeking the roots of current political fault lines--would be well-served by picking up The Woman's Hour." --Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Hidden FiguresNashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the "Antis"--women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel's, and the Bible. Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, along with appearances by Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Woman's Hour is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.
Weiss' reportage clearly shows she did a huge amount of research, which enables her to add splashes of color to what could have easily become a snooze-worthy political-science tome. Bits about the special pin suffragettes who went to prison were awarded by their colleagues and the various main characters' prefight histories add wonderful dimension to this important tale. But much of the drama seeps out of the book, due to too many unnecessary details and chapters that bounce between themes and timelines.... And an explanatory list at the front of the book of important players and the similar-sounding organizations on both sides of the issue would have helped.