New from author Elaine F. Weiss
The Woman’s Hour
The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history; the fight to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote.
Nashville, Summer 1920: Thirty-five states have ratified the 19th Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed or the amendment might die. After a seven-decade crusade, it all comes down to Tennessee; it’s the moment of truth for the suffragists, and also for their antagonists, the “Antis.” The political freedom of half of the nation is at stake.
In the steamy corridors of Nashville’s statehouse and hotels, the enormous forces allied for and against woman’s suffrage make their last stand; and it gets wild. There are bribes and betrayals, bourbon guzzled and bibles thumped, racist rants and the Confederate battle flag waved in defiance of Federal intervention in states’ rights to determine who can – and more pointedly, who cannot – vote.
Following three remarkable women who led their respective forces into this definitive confrontation, The Woman’s Hour tells the story of American women’s long crusade to obtain that most basic right of democracy – the vote – and the forces of history, culture, and politics which made their quest so difficult. We meet the Suffs and the Antis, the politicians and the corporate lobbyists, the idealists and the racists – and, most surprisingly, the women who oppose enfranchising their own sex – as they converge upon Nashville for the final fight.
Unfolding in the midst of a bitter presidential campaign,The Woman’s Hour rings surprisingly modern themes, echoing the headlines of today: voting rights and voter suppression; women’s rights – and who decides what they are; inequality; corporate money in politics; culture wars. And racism. Because any story about the right to vote in America is ultimately about race.
Featuring a cast of colorful characters and historical figures – including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and Woodrow Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Warren G. Harding – The Woman’s Hour reads like a political thriller, with women protagonists propelling the action, and the outcome uncertain until the very end.
It is an inspiring story of courageous and cunning grassroots activists winning their own freedom. They teach us profound and valuable lessons about the hard work it takes to bring change, and the ongoing need to strengthen our democracy.