Most helpful critical review
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Not bad, could have been better
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.