Abundantly useful for aspiring scholars, while those with a casual interest in the subject will be struck by its surprising...

Primary documents provide insight into the struggles within the women's suffrage movement in the United States up until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Historian Wagner (Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influences on Early American Feminists, 2001, etc.) opens with a chapter about the key role of women in the Iroquois Confederacy in upstate New York before the United States became a nation. “Unlike almost every other historian,” writes Gloria Steinem in the foreword, “[Wagner] doesn’t treat this country as if it began with Columbus.” Wagner then moves on to discuss the development of the women's suffrage movement in the decades before the first national women's rights convention in 1850. Covering the years from the 1850s to 1920, the editor devotes a chapter to the events of each decade. An introduction to each chapter provides a generous amount of historical context, which brings the implications of the primary documents—some of which are included in full and others of which are excerpted—into focus. These documents include speeches at women's rights conventions and to the general public, and they reveal the striking tensions between various factions of the movement as well as their commonalities. Wagner broadens her subject to include not just discussions of women's suffrage, but also birth control, “free love,” divorce, and women's economic and social rights. The structure of the volume makes clear the protracted nature of the struggle and how many now-little-known individuals were involved in it in addition to famous figures like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Wagner never hesitates to point out the flaws in her subjects and the movement, notable among which is the fact that the “suffragists,” as they called themselves, were often casually or even intentionally racist, arguing that educated white women were more deserving of political power than ex-slaves.

Abundantly useful for aspiring scholars, while those with a casual interest in the subject will be struck by its surprising complexity.

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313243-1

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019


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

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



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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