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.
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“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