Note: This is the second book in our library offerings this year to celebrate and honor the 100th year anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement
By Robert P.J. Cooney, Jr.

“How can she vote, when the fashions are so wide and the voting booths are so narrow?”
- a political cartoon

Watch out – this book will grab you! It is much more than the inspiring story of the 72-year-long battle by American women to win the right to vote. It is a visual feast. This is the story of the longest war: 72 years from whispered start to triumphant end. Decades during which no one was killed, no shots were fired, no ships were sunk, no bombs exploded. Just women, working to convince men in every way they could imagine to give them the vote. How did they do it? Read this book and find out.

Winning the Vote captures the color and excitement of this central, inspiring but nearly forgotten chapter in American history. Nearly 1,000 photographs, posters, leaflets, and portraits illustrate this fascinating account of the expansion of American democracy. Every page has something to offer: campaign buttons ("I cast my first vote"), political cartoons ("How can she vote, when the fashions are so wide and the voting booths are so narrow?"), caricatures ("Vote for the Celebrated Man Tamer"), posters, fliers, picture post cards, and even the cover of Life Magazine. Everything is laid out in gorgeous color and black and white reproductions. Photographs jump off the pages: thousands of women marching in parades across the country, white-clothed suffragists selling pennants in Long Beach, CA, proper ladies gluing up suffrage posters in Ohio. These large format images and a fast paced text highlight key developments between 1848 and 1920 including over 52 state electoral campaigns and the final, controversial drive for the 19th amendment.

Winning the Vote contains profiles of 78 women and men, black and white, who led the drive for equal rights. The leaders of the suffrage movement are highlighted: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Alice Paul. But, the ordinary women are also featured: casting their votes in Wyoming in 1888, giving speeches out west, and picketing the Senate and the White House. Memorable moments are captured: Susan B. Anthony's indictment for daring to vote in 1873, Inez Milholland on a white horse leading the Washington D. C. suffrage parade in 1913, women carried off in paddy wagons for picketing, and, finally, suffragists celebrating victory on August 26, 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was enacted.

This book is the principal reference that covers both the details of this great civil rights movement and the spirit that kept it alive. It is the book to read and to treasure.

2020 April Book Commentary