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A Woman's Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot Hardcover – August 17, 2010
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“Mary Walton, a veteran reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, has captured Paul's fire, her slow burn in A Woman's Crusade. Part of the genius of the book lies in Walton's quiet analysis of the methods used by the National American Woman Suffrage Assn. and the National Women's Party, founded by Paul in 1916.” ―Los Angeles Times
“[A] fast-paced narrative...Recommended.” ―Choice
“Mary Walton delivers an engrossing account of one of the most dramatic episodes in American History--the culmination of the seven-decade quest for woman suffrage. This moving portrayal of the brilliant activist Alice Paul and her dedicated companions in prison and on the picket lines captures the courage and sacrifice demanded of women who risked reputations, health and even their freedom to gain the right to vote.” ―Marla R. Miller, author of Betsy Ross and the Making of America
“A Woman's Crusade makes it clear that rather than the Constitution simply conferring voting rights on women, women suffrage activists chiseled their demand into the Constitution through a strategic, relentless, and sometimes personally painful campaign. Mary Walton vividly captures Alice Paul's determined leadership of that movement.” ―Donald A. Ritchie, author of Our Constitution
“Nearly a half century before Martin Luther King brought Ghandian methods to bear on racial segregation, Alice Paul used non-violent protest to win full voting rights for American women; but few Americans know about her. Mary Walton vividly brings her to life again in this brilliant, important and highly readable book. America's understanding of its history will be all the richer for it.” ―Gene Roberts, The Race Beat, 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner for History
“Perhaps more than any other person, Alice Paul was responsible for U.S. women finally securing the right to vote in 1920--and yet most Americans have never heard of her. It's astonishing that an individual of such courage and accomplishment would have to be "rescued" from obscurity, but that's precisely what Mary Walton has done with this dynamic and entertaining biography. Walton sweeps the reader along in Alice Paul's seven-year crusade for suffrage, all the way to its nail-biting conclusion. This is a wonderful and important book.” ―Thomas Kunkel, author of Genius in Disguise: Harold Ross of The New Yorker
“Mary Walton's exciting, carefully researched biography offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at one of the most intriguing personalities of the 20th century. Walton helps us appreciate Paul's leadership and aggressive vigor in a story that reveals all the drama, doubt, and grandeur of true history.” ―Robert P. J. Cooney, Jr., author of Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement
“Mary Walton has written a passionate history of one of my heroines (and distant relative), Alice Paul – a fiery feminist who understood political strategy and the value of a sound-bite better than anyone. A leader in the suffragist movement and founder of the National Woman's Party, Alice Paul drafted the Equal Rights Amendment, which I now proudly carry as lead sponsor in the House. All Americans should read this book to learn more about one of our most extraordinary and dynamic leaders.” ―Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney
“Richly endowed with research . . . detailed, absorbing . . . I value the book for introducing her to the next generation of feminists with a taste for revolution.” ―Ms Magazine
About the Author
Mary Walton is a veteran journalist who wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 20 years. The acclaimed author of several books including For Love of Money and Car: A Drama of the American Workplace, she lives in Ocean Grove, NJ.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a well-written, readable book, accessible to the general reader. There has never before been such a book about Alice Paul, and Mary Walton deserves praise for according Paul the recognition in book form that was missing for such a long time.
Most of the book is taken up with details of the work of Paul and her allies in the period of 1913 to 1920, when the struggle for a federal suffrage amendment was at its height. For a suffrage buff like me, it was fascinating to learn about specific problems that Paul faced in organizing the great suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. in March 1913. The parade itself and the near-riot that ensued brought immense publicity to the suffrage cause.
Paul was remarkably adept at generating constant newspaper coverage and public attention for the campaign to adopt what became the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Paul understood that ever-greater spectacle and sensation were needed to keep the suffrage issue in the forefront of the public's mind. Her tactics escalated to fierce criticism of President Woodrow Wilson, picketing of the White House, unjust arrest and imprisonment of Paul and her allies, hunger strikes, forced feedings and harsh mistreatment in prison of the militant suffragists.
Walton's account can be read as implying that Paul's militant tactics, single-minded leadership, the personal martyrdom through mistreatment of Paul and the other militants, and the resulting crescendo of publicity, were the key factors in bringing about the ultimate victory of the suffrage forces.Read more ›
With a journalist's exuberance and clarity, Walton highlights Paul's absolute dedication to the cause of women's suffrage as she details the innovative activities of her National Woman's Party (NWP). Though a small party (compared to their rival, the National American Woman Suffrage Association) the NWP's militant strategy garnered serious publicity for women's suffrage cause. Their tactics included constant deputations, or visits with a reluctant President Wilson. His own efforts to put off the women's suffrage question were hampered by Paul's merciless campaign to encourage female voters in western states to vote against Wilson's Democratic Party.
Through dedicated research of suffrage and government records, newspapers, correspondence, biographies and personal statements from politicians and suffragists alike, Walton sketches out the NWP's mounting influence as their tactics placed them at the forefront of what became a national issue.Read more ›
I'm recommending this book to my daughters-in-law and granddaughters, who need to know how difficult and dangerous this effort really was.
Thanks, Mary Walton, for an excellent job!
There still is no full-fledged biography of Alice Paul which answers the questions which have been raised about her: how did she rise to the top so quickly in the suffrage movement(she seems to come out of nowhere in 1913)? How did she inspire her followers--she was reportedly a retiring personality?
We will have to await a work that does more than scratch the surface for the answers to those questions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Should be a part of every American history course. Until I read this book, I had heard of Alice Paul and knew generally what she had done, but this book brings out so many details... Read morePublished 6 months ago by RAB
The historical content is excellent, and I'm glad that I read it. However, the writing style doesn't "flow. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Patty.
this should be required reading in grammar and high school...excellent book for girlsPublished 18 months ago by APB
Alice Paul is one of my biggest heroes. Learning about her battle for the ballot on behalf of women is an incredible over-looked piece of history that I wish all women and men... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Arlene Lagos
Alice Paul was an amazing person. She was the brains behind petitioning for a cause, collecting and using a dossier on each legislator, effective picketing, the ERA, and sending... Read morePublished 23 months ago by emjay
Having seen the film, "Iron-Jawed Angels" I was eager to learn more about the real suffragist, Alice Paul. As it turns out. Read morePublished on August 11, 2013 by Auntie Chula
Well-researched, entertaining book about the history of the suffrage movement in the US. How much things have changed and yet stayed the same when it comes to attitudes about... Read morePublished on April 28, 2013 by Jan A.
In a nutshell: A superbly researched, exciting, inspiring book about an awesome woman to whom all women in the United States owe an enormous debt. Read morePublished on June 3, 2012 by B. Bridges
This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about democracy. It tells the story of the hundreds of women who went to prison for non-violent civil disobedience for women's right... Read morePublished on April 22, 2012 by Eesha Williams