CENTURY OF STRUGGLE by Eleanor Flexner


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The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States"" has its first (surprising as it seems) history, and if the facts speak for themselves- the author's sympathies are supportive to this extent, namely that opportunity, even if it created new problems for women, should not have been withheld. After giving a general background on the position of women up to 1800 (they had no status of any kind), this records in considerable detail the hundred years of fermentation and insurgence against ""the wall of human bondage"" in which women were held; the attempt to secure equal education (Emma Willard, Mary Lyon, etc.)- the first battleground; the beginnings of organized efforts by the ""first conscious feminists"" to extend women's rights and institute reforms; the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 which gave direction to and gained momentum for the movement; the infiltration of women in the professions, in labor and the trade unions, and of course the vote where for several decades there were three areas of activity- ""demonstrative, legal and political""- along with the forceful figures who pioneered ably in the sex struggle, Mrs. Stanton and Mrs. Catt, Elizabeth Blackwell and Susan D. Anthony. The historical coverage ends with the woman suffrage amendment in 1920, although there are closing remarks on the position of women today and the discrimination and disparity which still obtains.... A serious, informative study, without sacrificing the ambience of spirited reform which marked these years of emancipation. A longlasting rather than immediate market.

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 1959
Publisher: Harvard Univ. Press