Wendy's Reviews > Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement

Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement by Sally G. McMillen
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's review
Nov 16, 2008

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bookshelves: history
Read in November, 2008

This is a pretty decent overview of the issues facing women in the mid-19th century, and MacMillen does an excellent job of illustrating the context in which the Seneca Falls convention occurred. She also paints a vivid picture of the squabbles and in-fighting that characterized the movement in the late 19th century; one wonders if the franchise might have been secured earlier if only the movement's leaders had been applying their efforts to a unified cause instead of to competing with each other for followers.

Some elements of the book annoyed me, however. The editing is often sloppy, and why does she refer to the male leaders in the movement (Frederick Douglass, Wendell Phillips, etc.)by their last names, but insists on referencing the female leaders (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, etc.) by their first names? Also, I craved a deeper look at the four women listed above; they do get the most ink, but so many other figures need to be included that the treatment of the "Big 4" is cursory at best.

Overall, however, this is a good introduction to the women's rights movement that is very readable and succinct.
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