Industrial-Sized Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Get Ready for the Winter Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals BestoftheYear Outdoor Deals on HTL

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2008
This is a wonderful book. Although I studied feminist history in college and have been familiar with the names and deeds of the four women featured in "Seneca Falls..." for years, it wasn't until reading this book that these women became human to me. The author does a stunning job of bringing them and their individual and collective struggles to life in a wonderfully engaging, accessible way. What an extraordinary story of patience and deep-seated belief in the possibility of change - a timely, inspiring message I'm very glad to have stumbled upon.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2008
What timing! Events in the lives of the four bright and strong-willed nineteenth century women highlighted in this book have heightened relevance in the current presidential election campaign. In both periods competing interests of minorities create potential conflict.

The way that Professor McMillen intricately wove the events leading up to and following the Seneca Falls Convention into the fabric of everyday life was brilliant. For the first time I began to understand: Why in the world did it take 72 years from Seneca Falls in 1848 to 1920 to pass the amendment giving women the right to vote? McMillen provided precious details about the human goings-on and the interpersonal relationships that explain the sputtering, two-steps-forward, one-step-back movement.

History often seems so top-down and conceptual, but this book reminds one of the significance of those day-to-day small steps. The Seneca Falls convention may have been the catalyst for a pivotal moment in womens rights, but McMillen allowed the individual personalities throughout the period to shine.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
I'm not sure exactly how to rate this book. On the one hand, it has lots of information, and I needed a nice refresher of the Jacksonian-era women's rights movement. On the other hand, the title of the book is very misleading, and the last chapter is endless and meandering.

When I saw the title of the book, which gains instant credibility since it's an Oxford publication, I expected a chapter of historical background to Seneca Falls, the bulk of the book on the movement that led to Seneca Falls and the convention itself, and then an epilogue that summed up how the movement progressed in the following decades. Instead, Seneca Falls is just a fraction of this book, even though the series is "Pivotal MOMENTS in American History." It's essentially a chronological recap of the movement -- from the Jacksonian era through the end of the century -- revolving loosely around Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone. (As an aside, it drives me absolutely crazy that in a serious work of history, the author refers to these women by their first names throughout the book.)

This book is not a terribly difficult read, though it drags at times. If you get through it, you'll get some nice background information on the movement and learn more about some remarkable women, but it's hardly a focused or illuminating study. And it desperately needs a different title.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2010
Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement (Pivotal Moments in American History)
Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.

Having recently visited Seneca Falls, New York, and the National Woman's Rights Museum along the Genessee Canal, and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton home in Seneca Falls, both located in the Finger Lakes District of New York, gave me a special feel for the information in this fine book. Just to show you the kind of book it is, there are 44 pages of "Notes" at the back of the book, that are incredibly detailed and specific. For further insight into the kind of book it is, McMillen is the Mary Reynolds Babcock Professor of History and Department Chair at Davidson College, in Davidson, North Carolina. This book is a thorough, comprehensive, well-documented examination that "focuses on the principal players and some of the seminal events that occurred in the years just prior to Seneca Falls and in the decades that followed. Four remarkable women [Lucretia Coffin Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony] were central to the nineteenth-century women's movement. They provide the framework for this book" (pp. 4-5). The background of how McMillen became interested in women's issues, discussed in the "Introduction" to the book (pp. 6-7), provides a fascinating exploration not just to the etymology of this book, but to how a professor is born, as well. The structure of McMillen's book is chronological in which she first offers an overview of American women's world before Seneca Falls, and then examines reform efforts during the antebellum period. Seneca Falls itself is the subject of chapter 3, then she looks at the nascent women's rights movement of the 1850s. The next chapter (5) examines the impact of the Civil War on the women's movement, and her final chapter in this 310-page book, covers the years up to 1890, when two women's rights organizations fought on several fronts. McMillen ends her "Introduction" by saying, "This book ends with the two organizations reuniting in 1890 and a second generation of women taking over. While suffrage was not yet a reality, the seeds planted at Seneca Falls in 1848 had grown into a national women's movement that ultimately uplifted the lives of half this nation's population" (p. 8). If you want to read and fully understand the origins of the women's rights movement, you will find this book compelling, extraordinary, accessible, and readable.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2008
This is a book that anyone with an interest in women's rights should read. It is just one more example of what a great historical author McMillen is. It is particularly timely in light of the current presidential election. McMillen's use of primary sources and her meticulous research gives the reader a stong understanding of the struggle that women went through to get the right to vote.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2009
Professor of History Sally G. McMillen presents Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement, a scholarly historical examination of the 1848 Seneca Falls convention that would catapult the women's rights movement forward and forever change the course of history. Revealing the true stories behind four extraordinary individuals key to the movement - Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony - Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement shows how the then-radical ideas of greater legal rights for women, greater educational opportunities, full equality with men, and the right to vote were boldly advanced despite powerful social pressures in direct opposition. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrates this absolute "must-have" for women's studies shelves.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2008
I have contradictory feelings about this book. Having visited Seneca Falls two years ago I was thrilled to have this detailed history of how that momentous convention came to be and what came after. It's all I would want such a book to be, EXCEPT...and this is a biggie for me....I couldn't keep the main cast of characters straight because of the ubiquitous use of first names. I kept having to look back to remind myself that "Lucy" is Lucy Stone who was.... and "Lucretia" is Lucretia Mott who was...etc.

In books where the main characters are men the problem is easily resolved by the use of surnames. I can appreciate why, in a book with this theme, you would want to avoid that practice since it would give a ascribed identity to the women who were married.

The use of first names only may not be a problem for other readers, but I would have appreciated an album, so to speak, at the beginning with a photo and brief bio that I could easily turn to keep the cast of characters straight in my mind.

Lu Ann W. Darling, author of Discover Your Mentoring Mosaic, A Guide to Enhanced Mentoring
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2009
At first I was weary of this novel--I often find myself disappointed by books my Professors instruct me to read. It didn't take long for the author to convince me my doubts were miss placed. The information was presented in a reader friendly manner that didn't sacrifice information. I found myself truly impressed by the amount of work that must have gone into writing such a detailed description of a historical event that began a movement. By reading this book I began to get an appreciation of the struggle for woman's rights--a struggle only briefly mentioned in history text books and glanced over by most of my previous teachers, who often focused on dead white men and glorious battles. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the History of America, especially that of a woman's history.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement is a thorough account and analysis of the convention that began to galvanize women to organize around suffrage, rights for divorce, and other issues that became the mainstay of the women's rights movement. This book focuses on the four women who became prominent as activists (Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton). It details the lives of these women and how they tirelessly campaigned for women's rights. The author puts a very personal spin on the book so you really do get to know this cast of characters and see what they went through to achieve suffrage.

I have two big complaints as far as the book goes that cause the loss of 1 star. The book jumps around from the women's lives and gets very hard to follow in places because it is jumping around frequently between the four women (and others) so that you are not sure who she is talking about at some points. It usually resolved itself within a page or so but the transitions were weaker. The second complaint is with the context of this book in the series Pivotal Moments in American history. The series goal is to explore the major paradigm shifts that occurred in US history as a result of the event they are writing one. While obviously the right to vote for women changed the course of American history the author does not even attempt to articulate any of that or why this is a pivotal moment. One of the most enjoyable parts of the series is when they have the authors put it in that macro context and that was very lacking here. Not really a reason to deduct a star since the book stands alone but for those who are fans of the series will probably read more like a 3 star.

Overall a great start for those wanting to learn about women's rights and well worth the time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2008
How refreshing to find a history book that is so readable. Seneca Falls is such an important and interesting topic and I think McMillen has done a terrific job making it accessible to readers.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed

Woman Suffrage and Women's Rights
Woman Suffrage and Women's Rights by Ellen Carol Dubois (Paperback - July 1, 1998)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.