Neuman concisely explains how these gilded women have been airbrushed out of history, resented by those who felt exploited,...

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GILDED SUFFRAGISTS

THE NEW YORK SOCIALITES WHO FOUGHT FOR WOMEN'S RIGHT TO VOTE

Setting the record straight on the driving forces in the early-20th-century fight for women’s suffrage.

Former Los Angeles Times and USA Today journalist Neuman (Scholar-in-Residence/American Univ.; Lights, Camera, War: Is Media Technology Driving International Politics?, 1996, etc.) counters the popular opinion that these women were merely “bored socialites trying on suffrage as they might the latest couture designs from Paris,” and she makes a solid case. They sought the vote as a marker of educated privilege, and many were mocked, termed spinsters, lesbians, and intellectuals. If that was their loudest obstacle, female indifference was their silent enemy. Success was slow; by the century’s end, only four states had granted women the right to vote. In 1907, Daisy Harriman and others opened the Colony Club, New York’s first club exclusively for women. The members included 700 women prominent in professions and society, and they debated a wide variety of subjects—not just pro- but also anti-suffrage, the arts, and matters of civic and social interest. A new generation of women of wealth and standing stepped up in 1908, most notably Alva Vanderbilt Belmont and Katherine Duer Mackay. Belmont, who was domineering, audacious, and independently wealthy, used the newfound celebrity journalism to manipulate the press for the movement. Mackay used her femininity and famous fashion sense to approach the elite and influence the influential. She taught women to take a ladylike, maternal purview to the public square, eschewing the violent methods seen in Britain at the time. Where Mackay offered a coy wink, Belmont employed a cold bribe, but they each succeeded in pulling the movement out of the doldrums. Though mockery continued, Belmont, Mackay, and others made fruitful use of their considerable contacts, making New York the center of activity and encouraging cross-class coalition.

Neuman concisely explains how these gilded women have been airbrushed out of history, resented by those who felt exploited, but thankfully, they succeeded, and women vote today because of them.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4798-3706-9

Page Count: 240

Publisher: New York Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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