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

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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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

TOMBSTONE

THE EARP BROTHERS, DOC HOLLIDAY, AND THE VENDETTA RIDE FROM HELL

Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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