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Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President Hardcover – March 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0814758342 ISBN-10: 0814758347

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Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President + Belva Lockwood: Equal Rights Pioneer (Trailblazer Biographies)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 311 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814758347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814758342
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,415,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Long before Hillary Clinton, there was Belva Lockwood: two-time presidential hopeful, Lockwood campaigned in 1884 and 1888 on a platform of women's suffrage. In the first full-length biography of this feminist pioneer, legal historian Norgren has meticulously researched what little has remained of Lockwood's papers, most of which were destroyed after her death. Lockwood was, in a word, tenacious: one of the first female lawyers in the country, she was the very first woman to be admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, an episode that Norgren recounts in moving detail. Glimpses of Lockwood's less-heroic side emerge as well, and it's to Norgren's credit that Lockwood's controversial views on Mormons, Native Americans and freed slaves are placed in their proper historical context, but aren't necessarily forgiven. Indeed, fights with other suffragists and a seemingly inexhaustible well of self-regard are featured alongside Lockwood's many strengths and accomplishments. Norgren never reaches beyond the facts of the record, rarely speculating on Lockwood's intentions, thoughts or purpose-a plus for those who like their biography embellishment-free, but a definite minus for more casual readers, who may find Lockwood too distant to rouse sympathy. Illustrations.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Norgren eloquently and succinctly educates the reader on the story of the first woman to ever be allowed to argue before the United States Supreme Court, as well as the first woman to ever launch two full scale bids for this country’s presidency . . . Norgren’s writing is engaging and her narrative is accessible yet rich with fact.”-Feminist Review,

“For those interested in U.S. women’s history or the nineteenth-century practice of law, Norgen’s work is a must.”-Law and History Review,

“Norgren has written an engrossing and insightful book about Belva Lockwood, a woman who, through tenacity, drive and self worth, accomplished more in the 19th century than many modern women accomplish. Because Lockwood was known to few and most of her personal papers were destroyed after her death, Norgren has done an exemplary job of illuminating the life of this varied and accomplished woman.”-The Law and Politics Book Review,

“An engaging account of Belva Lockwood’s struggles and achievements as one of the first women to enter the legal profession in the United States in the late 19th century.”-Canadian Journal of Law and Society,

“Exceptionally well-researched. Norgren’s contribution is to situate Lockwood among a generation of female activists. Norgren is successful in moving the woman who would be president to her proper standing as a pioneering lawyer who would change America.”-Jean Baker,American Historical Review

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By parisreader on March 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book made a deep impression on me, but it's also just fun to read. I can't recall when I've had such pleasure reading a work of non-fiction. The life of Belva Lockwood, presidential candidate and first woman to argue before the Supreme Court, is the stuff of an engrossing novel, filled with real characters and gripping "plots," and Norgren tells it with engaging sympathy, passionate drive, and first-rate scholarship. The book is filled with anecdotes, quotations, and stories that are alternately touching, bizarre, amazing, and outrageous. This truly is a book that is hard to put down, and it conjures up a past rich in context and immediacy. But at a deeper level, it dramatically brought to my attention, as a male who considers himself relatively "enlightened," a dimension of the struggle for human rights that I appreciated before only in a fairly general way. As such, the book has obvious bearings on contemporary issues and continuing struggles. In summary, this is a page-turner that made me think and see the world in a new way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elevate Difference on July 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In a moment of autobiographical reflection, Belva Lockwood once stated that while her work as an equal rights activist had failed to raise the dead, it had "awakened the living." Jill Norgren's biography of Lockwood, a little known but extremely important historical figure should and could awaken all of us to live a life of conviction and activism.

At 232 pages long, Norgren eloquently and succinctly educates the reader on the story of the first woman to ever be allowed to argue before the United Supreme Court, as well as the first woman to ever launch two full scale bids for this country's presidency. Lockwood's place in history is far less prominent than many of her contemporaries, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but her contributions were significant and seem all the more important for study today as we witness a very legitimate bid by another woman for the United States presidency. As a woman who was deeply concerned with advocating for democracy, pacifism and equal rights, Belva Lockwood led a life defined by fighting for the causes she believed in and worked hard not only to further said causes, but at the same time had to support herself as a single widow of a young daughter. Lockwood turned her tragedy into an opportunity to exercise freedom and possibility with education and her voice. While little remains of Lockwood's personal writing and documents, she used the power of the pen tirelessly during her life and much of her writing was published and documented.

Norgren's writing is engaging and her narrative is accessible yet rich with fact. Like her other book The Cherokee Cases, which makes difficult United States Supreme Court case studies accessible and engaging; Norgren could inspire all of us to become avid readers of historical biographies.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Serena Nanda on June 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Even if Hillary Clinton were not running for president and Nancy Pelosi wasn't the first woman speaker of the house, this book is a must read. The story of a woman of humble beginnings who would not take NO for an answer and became the first woman lawyer to argue before the Supreme Court and the first woman to run a serious campaign for President is told in an objective yet compelling fashion by author Jill Norgren. The research is exhaustive and Norgren does a great job of integrating Belva's home and family life with her professional achievements. Belva comes across as an extraordinary ordinary person, which makes her an inspiring role model for all of us looking toward the day when the American promise of equal rights becomes a complete reality.
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