Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

An American Life

Book - 2009
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In this biography, the historian Lori D. Ginzberg narrates the life of a woman of great charm, enormous appetite, and extraordinary intellectual gifts who turned the limitations placed on women like herself into a universal philosophy of equal rights.
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780809094936
Characteristics: 254 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm


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Jul 04, 2011

This is a very good book about the suffragist who organized the first women's conference in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. While Elizabeth Cady Stanton's long life makes any biography challenging and thus incomplete, nonetheless this book touches the most important parts of her life of activism.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton has been quoted as saying, "My feeling is to tone up rather than down." And indeed she was a fine rabble rouser about equal rights for women, about religion, about marriage and divorce and other controversial subjects in the years before the Civil War and long after.
Her longtime professional partnership and friendship with Susan B. Anthony is well covered and her relationships with other well-known suffragists and abolitionists is touched upon.
The book also looks without flinching at Elizabeth Cady Stanton's many and large faults: she tended toward racism (despite her friendship with Frederick Douglass)and wasn't discreet about it. She thought educated white women should get the vote before male ex-slaves and male immigrants who knew limited English. She was often blind to the challenges faced by women who didn't share her middle-class heritage and life. She was stubborn in her views and her position against the amendment to give Black men the vote (before women), split the women's movement in half.
Despite her faults, you can't help being charmed by her boldness and perseverence. She deserves her place in history. Sadly she didn't live to see women finally win the right to vote in 1920.


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