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Women's Movements Books

Katherine H. Adams and Michael L. Keene, Alice Paul and the American Suffrage Campaign (2007)

This biography fills a gap in the literature on the early twentieth-century suffrage campaign. Paul's formation as an activist, her growing dissatisfaction with the moderate strategies of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and the militant campaign of 1917 are all richly described.

Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963)

This book may still speak to the experiences of many women, but probably most will find the lifestyles and mindset that it describes dated. Regardless, it is still interesting reading. Based largely on Friedan's own experiences as a wife and mother and on material drawn from dozens of interviews, the examples and anecdotes break up some of the more densely analytical sections.

Aileen Kraditor, The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement: 1890-1920 (1981)

This book is less about the movement than the varied and complex ideas of the women who campaigned for the right to vote at the turn of the century. Kraditor also explores the arguments of those opposing women's suffrage, as well as the unique questions surrounding women's suffrage in the South. This is not the most recent book on the subject, but it is still a good place to start.

Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade (2005)

Critchlow provides a balanced treatment of the figure adored by some and reviled by others. The book offers a particularly interesting comparison of strategies employed by those supporting and opposing ratification of the ERA.

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