An amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote in the United States was first introduced in Congress in 1878. That amendment was defeated, and for the next 40 years it was reintroduced — unsuccessfully — in every session of Congress. George Sullivan’s comprehensive photo history begins with the earliest voting-rights efforts made by both men and women in the years before that first defeat in Congress. From the early 1800s on, Sullivan profiles women who were pioneers in education, in labor, and the arts. Many of the most notable figures, like Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony, were also directly involved in the anti-slavery movement and efforts to provide laborers in the new Industrial Age with safer and more equitable working conditions.
When women finally won the right to vote in August 1920, their movement for equality did not stop there. They continued making inroads into professions that had been traditionally opened only to men. Frances Perkins became the first female cabinet member during the Roosevelt administration, and by the end of World War II, women had proven themselves in the military and in politics. Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer became key figures in the fight for civil rights, and by the 1970s women like Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Bella Abzug were working harder than ever to insure that the women’s movement was noted not for its struggle but for the equality it had achieved.
Using historical photographs and illustrations, George Sullivan presents the reader with a panorama marked by those events that have made a difference for American women, from the Seneca Falls meetings of the mid 1800s to the marches and demonstrations of the 1960s and 70s. Sullivan’s text clearly articulates the meaning of "suffragist" and "sexist," the 19th Amendment and the ERA, and provides young historians with a perspective into an integral part of our nation’s history.