Ms. Online's Reviews > A Woman's Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot

A Woman's Crusade by Mary Walton
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's review
Jul 28, 2010

bookshelves: currently-reading, 2010-summer-reviews

Reviewed by Vivian Gornick

In 1976, one year short of her death at the age of 92, I interviewed Alice Paul—the only woman suffrage leader still alive—in a nursing home in Connecticut. Sitting before me in a wheel- chair, Paul gave a remarkable demon- stration of selective senility. She stared into space, wouldn’t answer when asked how she felt, couldn’t figure out where she was or what it was I wanted of her; but when, pen and notebook in hand, I asked about a strategy meeting that had taken place in June of 1913, she recalled the name of every woman who’d been in the room, how each had voted on the issues, and why she (Paul) still considered the outcome of that meeting an important setback for the Cause. Inside this frail old woman there lived a spirit of political engagement that clearly would last as long as she did.

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