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A Woman's Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot Hardcover – August 17, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (August 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230611753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230611757
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for A Woman's Crusade:
"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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Customer Reviews

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Very well written.
Auntie Chula
A Woman's Crusade by Mary Walton makes the history of the suffrage movement and Alice Paul's remarkable achievements easy to understand.
I will never take it for granted after having read this.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel Levin on October 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"A Woman's Crusade" is a recently published book by Mary Walton. It tells the story of Alice Paul and her leadership of the National Woman's Pary in the fight for women's voting rights in the United States.

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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By osflies on October 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written historic account of the suffragette movement in the states. A real page turner, Mary Walton knows how to tell a story! Alice Paul's story was exhilarating and left me with a great sense of pride for her and the young women who dedicated themselves to this movement. Thanks for getting us the vote!! I will never take it for granted after having read this. I will say, I am appalled at how little I knew about the fight for women's suffrage prior to reading this book. I read this for a book club and I will speak for all of us - none of us knew 1/2 of the struggle these women went through and the book club has members male and female from age 27 to 55. Shame on the schools for not teaching this better.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By stpauley on December 30, 2010
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As the review in Ms. Magazine pointed out last summer, the Walton biography of Alice Paul has very little new to say about this little-known personality. The HBO production Iron-Jawed Angels; Robert Cooney's Winning the Vote, which gives a good general account of both Alice Paul's Woman's Party and Carrie Chapman Catt's NAWSA and their contributions; Linda Ford's Iron-Jawed Angels, Christine Lunardini's From Equal Suffrage to Equal Rights, Doris Stevens' Jailed for Freedom as well as other books about the woman suffrage movement have all given us the broad strokes about Alice Paul and her work. There are, of course, many people who have not heard of Alice Paul and her contribution to suffrage and for these people, the Walton book is valuable.

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Bridges on June 3, 2012
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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.

And yet, while reading this book I've asked many, mostly women, had they heard of Alice Paul? I've yet to find one. It's mind boggling.

I've read the one review saying the other group pushing for suffrage was probably equally important. Given the closeness of the vote, I'd say this must be true. But, by the same token, this also means that without Alice Paul, women's suffrage may well have taken another 20 years or more. The ignorance and prejudice that had to be overcome was enormous.

And yes, there were other women helping her who were incredibly important. But she was the core.

The book explains (and the movie doesn't) why she was instantly sought after by other suffrage proponents in the US when she returned from England. She had spent several years in England working with the leaders of that movement where she basically earned a degree in promoting a movement; organizing, demonstrating, going to jail, enduring hunger strikes and garnering publicity for that movement and herself.

I found the first two chapters (giving her college and her work for suffrage in England) and from chapter 10 to the end to be a gripping read. Chapters 3 through 9 gave a lot of detail of the long, almost boring period in the middle of the campaign. I'm not discouraging anyone from reading these chapters because they provide some wonderful insight into what happened later. But, if you find your interest lagging, please don't put the book down, just skip to chapter 10 where you will find an exciting, emotion generating page turner that equals or exceeds the best fiction.
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