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Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  232 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
How the Personal Became Political In the Fight to Grant Women Civil Rights

They forever changed America: Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard, Alice Paul. At their revolution's start in the 1840s, a woman's right to speak in public was questioned. By its conclusion in 1920, the victory in woman's suffrage had also encompassed the most fundam
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Hill and Wang (first published 2005)
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Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing

"Cast off the shackles of yesterday..."

Abusive husbands, isolation, overwhelming work of the home, sole responsibility in rearing children, little to no outlet for creativity, demands for sex in a marriage where the thought of pleasure plays in the background under the fear of getting with child, again. The physical drain of multiple pregnancies, the emotional drain of infant death and the unknown postpartum depression. All experiences of some woman in marriage, many in which they had little s
Dec 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book after watching the movie about Alice Paul and the end of the suffrage movement, Iron-Jawed Angels. I realized while watching the film that I didn't know enough about Paul, or about feminism's "First Wave" in general, to tell if the movie was giving her a fair portrayal or not. This book was a good introduction, I think, but more information will definitely be needed.

Sisters is divided into five sections, each dedicated to the life and work of one particular famous suffragis
Caitlin Marineau
Dec 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, biography
For many, suffragists are a set of unfamiliar characters in American history. Most people know the names of Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but are unfamiliar with their accomplishments, and their counterparts in the fight for women’s suffrage are even more of a mystery. Jean H. Baker does an admirable job of demystifying these American activists (including Anthony, Stanton, Lucy Stone, Frances Willard, and Alice Paul), by writing individual biographies that illustrate not only their ...more
Sep 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography
When I attended Northwestern University, there was some snickering about the fact that Evanston was the headquarters for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Evanston was just beginning to allow alcoholic drinks with meals at that time.

The major obvious association between NU and the WCTU was the fact that the women's dormatory was Willard Hall. Probably most of us didn't know that Frances Willard was the most famous person associated with Prohibition and a temperence leader.

Thanks to this b
Stephen Tryon
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a powerful history of the lives of five women who were leaders in the struggle for women's rights in the United States. But Baker's project is more than just a retelling of key moments in this struggle. Rather, she reveals details from the personal lives of the women about whom she writes that serve to illuminate the struggle for women's rights in our country.

I particularly liked the chapter on Alice Paul: her leadership of the National Women's Party and subsequent efforts to get Presid
Amy Flaherty
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book I felt that I had to read in order to truly appreciate the rights I have a woman and I'm very glad I did. Its well written and does give a sense of who these women actually were as people and then what they paid with their lives, both pubic and private, to the rights that we now take for granted at times. If you are interested at all in this topic, its a good overview or a place to get started.
Oct 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
OK, this does read like a history book - it's dry, but SO good at explaining that the Suffrage Movement REALLY started in the 1840's, not 1910 with Alice Paul. Yes, her drastic actions pushed to give women the vote, but there were many women before her who started the fires. We're SO lucky to be American.
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am glad to have read this book. That these particular women, suffragists, stood for what they believed, what they intrinsically knew about their potential roles as women in a society that held a domineering male point-of-view, is inspired.
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read. The fight not just for the women's right to vote but the reason's behind that long fight. Every young person should read this. Some of our politicians too!
Jan 15, 2013 added it
I knew virtually nothing about the suffragists until I read this book. It will forever change the way I view women's issues (here and abroad).
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism
I really enjoyed this look at the lives of leading American suffrage activists, and learned a lot that I never would have had I not read this book. I highly recommend it, but will say that it took me much longer to read than I expected because 1) there was so much information in it that I would prefer to "steep" in what I had learned than barrel through new information and 2) it got a little bit dry at times. I also really enjoyed the pictures in the middle - those helped drive home Baker's poin ...more
Aug 20, 2017 marked it as to-read
Kimberly Fields
May 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book because it caught my eye on the shelf at the library. I was intrigued at the idea of learning more about the suffragists, who are responsible for so many of the freedoms I enjoy. Unfortunately, this book didn't fully live up to its potential.

Sisters is a compilation of biographies of some of the leading suffragists in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It includes the life stories of Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard, and Alice Paul. It wa
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book for review is “Sisters:The Lives of America’s Suffragists”by Jean H. Baker. It falls in the genre of American history and women’s studies.

This novel focuses on some of the main women who took up the cause for women’s suffragist. We have Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard and Alice Paul. Each chapter talks about how each woman got started in the cause for the fight for women across the United States to vote.

The stories are varied, so
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
For someone who knows very little about the suffrage movement, this book was eye-opening. I found the writing to be difficult to get through because of Baker’s frequent use of big, obscure words. And as others have pointed out, it was a bit dry. BUT, I still very much enjoyed reading this journey. I felt many things while reading this; empowered, inspired, sad, angry, and privileged. I was born with the right to vote. I can’t imagine being alive during the time that women had to fight so hard fo ...more
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get through this, but it was fascinating information. It was nice to learn more about the prominent suffragists, how they differed and the traits they shared, and to get a better feel for the suffrage timeline in general. I admit wanting to have another kid just so that I can name it either "Alice" or "Paul," as Alice Paul was by far my favorite of the five women profiled.
Diane Mueller
Mar 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Learning about those who opened the door to women's right was interesting. We hear so little about these women's lives. I found this book dry and at times it was difficult for me to read very far without growing sleepy.
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Bleh. Every single one of these women deserve and have whole books written about them so this history, with multiple stories crammed into a mere 300 pages is exactly what you think it would be: terribly, terribly superficial.
Pat Jorgenson Waterchilde
Cindy Wyatt
Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it
I definitely learned things I didn't know before on an interesting topic, but this was a dry, textbook-like read.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I was so happy to find a book that was about these women, but I did not think it was as historically accurate as it could be.
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great read about great women who left indelible marks on our world.
May 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Very interesting look at these women
Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Mar 03, 2015 added it
Good section on Lucy Stone.
The story was good, but the writing was poor.
Shonda Wilson
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Love the biographical sketches in this.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2009
rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2013
J.R. Zyon
rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2015
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Jean H. Baker is a professor of history at Goucher College. A graduate of Goucher College, she earned her doctorate at Johns Hopkins University.
More about Jean H. Baker...

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