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Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States, Enlarged Edition
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Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States, Enlarged Edition

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Century of Struggle tells the story of one of the great social movements in American history. The struggle for women's voting rights was one of the longest, most successful, and in some respects most radical challenges ever posed to the American system of electoral politics.

"The book you are about to read tells the story of one of the great social movements in American his
Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by Belknap Press (first published January 1st 1959)
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  149 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Oh my gosh, so much I didn’t know! Why is the suffrage movement not taught in U.S. History classes?! I picked this out to read because my new idea for a novel takes place in the later years of the suffrage movement, and I knew I needed to research the time period. While I was familiar with the Seneca Falls convention (notably, several people I’ve talked to about this book had never heard of it!), I was completely ignorant about the vast majority of suffrage history. So many awesome women, and so ...more
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Favorite Quotes:

"I am not going to question your opinion. I am not going to meddle with your beliefs. I am not going to dictate to you mine. All I say is examine, inquire, look into the nature of things. Search out the grounds of your opinions, the for and against. Know why you believe; Understand what you believe, and possess a reason for the faith that is in you." Frances Wright
Century of Struggle chronicles the woman's suffrage movement in the US from pre-Seneca Falls to when women finally won the vote, more than 70 years after the first woman's suffrage convention at Seneca Falls. Just to illustrate why books like this need to be read, I mentioned Seneca Falls to three or four people I know who asked what I was reading, and they had no idea why Seneca Falls was significant. They'd never heard of it. And it's no surprise. I've spent twenty years in the education syste ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent history of the women's suffrage movement in the United States, focused on the period from 1820 to 1920. Flexner not only details myriad aspects of the Women's Rights Movement, she also discusses at length the additional problems faced by African-American women and women in the labor movement. This book was written in the 1950s with an update in 1975, so it only touches in the conclusion on the women's liberation movement beginning in the 1960s through the early effort to pas ...more
Jun 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved learning more about the women's movement to gain the vote in this book. It was clearly excellently researched and full of fascinating information. I feel like I learned about more than history--politics, sociology, and media studies could easily be included in the topics touched on here.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Eleanor Flexner provides a wonderful commentary about the figures and acts that made equality much more real to women. As a woman I'm always humbled by the courage and hard work that went into making this a society in which I can feel free to want my freedom. This book brings home that lesson.
Kate Tooley
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very good overview, with enough personal notes to draw the reader in. Especially admired the determination of the author to include the racial aspect of the WRM and it's interplay with abolition. For the most part unflinching and comparatively objective. Aware of some glossing over, mostly of personally alienating factors but certainly to a lesser degree than most history books. Thoroughly enjoyed it, would reread.
I originally checked this book out from the library. After reading the 1st few chapters, I knew I needed to have a copy of my own. It took me a while to get through, but this is a book every woman--and the men who love them--should read.... And I'll tell you something else. The next time I enter the voting booth, I'll have a new sense of pride & honor as well.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I learned so much about the suffrage movement I didn’t know. This book is now outdated by several decades, but I appreciated the perspective of someone closer to the movement about where we have been and where we needed to go.
Sep 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I had to read this for my U.S. Women's Activism class. It is quite informative and interesting. There are things I can now tell people about our struggle to vote that I didn't know before. A bit dry at times, but there are worse books out there. It helped to have discussion questions for every chapter.
Feb 21, 2009 is currently reading it
I took a class in 1974 and this was one of the texts. I pulled it from the shelf when my son was doing a paper in a gender studies class at Duke. I found a new look at this time in my life very enlightening.
May 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-history
This is the most comprehensive overview of the women's movement I've read. It is filled with information, yet still interesting to read. If I need to look up a fact on women's history, I often start with Flexner.
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! I've always wanted to learn about women's heritage in this country. It was extremely informative. I suggest it to everyone! There were so many things that I had no idea happened to women throughout history, and their fight for change, which has given me so many freedoms.
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This was the classic text of first wave feminism for almost 30 years (it was originally published in 1959). She begins before Seneca Falls (although she argues that the movement begins here) and goes through the passage of suffrage.
Apr 20, 2010 rated it liked it
This book has alot of great info about womens history. At times it was hard keeping up with dates because they jump around alot from chapter to chapter, but overall a great book to read.
Oct 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, political
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-studies
an interesting but mostly untold story. This should be Ken Burns next series
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-school
Excellent book, made more interesting by Flexner's anticipating of most of the major themes of women's history.
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Eleanor Flexner was a distinguished independent scholar and pioneer in the field of women's studies.