— News —
Elaine’s home studio during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–2021.
A century ago, the suffragists were forced to carry on their work during a worldwide influenza pandemic – and during the 19th Amendment centennial year of 2020, we were faced with a similar situation. Commemorative events were canceled, dedications delayed, and my travel and speaking schedule came to a screeching halt. But thanks to the creativity and flexibility of so many organizers, many of those events were transported into the virtual space, and I kept up a busy schedule of talks, media interviews, panel discussions, book club visits, and even virtual toasts. My “studio” was a corner of my living room, with a storage bin atop a table (see photo) to hold my laptop; and while on (socially distanced) vacation, I found the required Internet signal to participate in interviews from the basement of a New England town hall and an Adirondack mountains storeroom attic. Thanks to my hosts and sponsors, viewers and listeners, and most of all to my readers, for accompanying me on the strange but satisfying Centennial year.
Now, as the world opens up, I’ll be breaking beyond the screen and hitting the road again to bring the story of this fight for voting rights and democracy – so important today – to new audiences.
THE WOMAN’S HOUR – Adapted for Young Readers Edition
This adaptation of the book Hillary Clinton calls “a page-turning drama and an inspiration” will spark the attention of young readers and teach them about activism, civil rights, and the fight for women’s suffrage.
Book Launch: The Woman’s Hour, Young Readers Edition. (In Conversation with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden)
CBS Sunday Morning – Votes for Women: How the Suffragists Won
AIRED August 23, 2020 – One hundred years ago the 19th Amendment, which would protect women’s right to vote, was just one vote short of ratification. “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan reports on how the landmark legislation finally earned passage, and talks with historians Elaine Weiss, Susan Ware and Martha S. Jones about how suffragists such as Carrie Chapman Catt won the long-pitched battle which, for black women, continued long after the amendment became embedded in our Constitution. Brennan also talks with singer Rosanne Cash who celebrated the suffragists’ legacy.
Harris & Ewing, via Universal Images Group/Getty Images
NYT – Women Would Abolish Child Labor (and Other Anti-Suffrage Excuses)
Elaine’s op-ed in NYTimes Sunday Review on resistance to the 19th Amendment:
Alice Paul, a leader of the National Woman’s Party, unfurls the ratification banner with its new 36th star after Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment on Aug. 18, 1920. The amendment prohibits denying the right to vote based on sex. Photo credit: Library of Congress
NPR: Elaine interviewed by NPR reporter Melissa Block
August 17, 2020
On Morning Edition:
PBS/American Experience: THE VOTE
AIRED July 7, 2020 – Elaine provided historical commentary for the excellent PBS/American Experience documentary The VOTE.
“THE VOTE: A Conversation on Women’s Suffrage” with Special Guest Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
American Experience | PBS
Streamed live on July 7, 2020
What insights can the women’s suffrage movement offer on challenges facing women and the nation today?
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, filmmaker Michelle Ferrari, historians Martha Jones and Elaine Weiss discuss the women’s suffrage movement and what it can reveal about democracy today.
C-SPAN: Centennial Suffrage Commemoration with Elaine Weiss and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
AIRED August 17, 2020 – The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission hosted a conversation on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, author Elaine Weiss, and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.
Nashville Public Library “Votes for Women” Room Opens. Inspired by The Woman’s Hour.
Votes for Women
Resolved: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex – The 19th Amendment
About the Votes for Women Room
The Votes for Women Room was created to mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the constitution. This permanent exhibit explores a range of topics surrounding democracy, political movements, and women’s role in society through videos, interactive exhibits, a timeline, and interpretative panels.
Trace historic moments in American women’s history, as well as national and international events related to voting and human rights, along the Centerpiece Timeline. Learn more about Tennessee’s pivotal role in the ratification and important themes on race and culture wars through videos featuring writer Elaine Weiss. Discover the tactics and strategies people used in the “Anatomy of a Movement” interactive exhibit – and see how those strategies are used by today’s activists.
The Young Readers edition, The Woman’s Hour: Our Fight for the Right to Vote, was chosen by the American Library Association and national Women’s Suffrage Centennial Committee for distribution to six thousand underserved libraries around the country.
Elaine was the convocation speaker at Case Western University, and The Woman’s Hour was chosen as the First Year Read for incoming students.
Elaine delivered the Mary Elizabeth Garrett lecture at the Johns Hopkins Medical Insitututions
Girl Scouts 19th Amendment patch: every scout earning the patch receives a copy of TWH
Elaine (virtually) participated in several book festivals, including the Tucson Book Festival, Kentucky Book Festival, and the Nantucket Authors festival at home.
In the The New Yorker magazine, praise for The Woman’s Hour:
The Imperfect, Unfinished Work of Women’s Suffrage by Casey Cep
A century after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, it’s worth remembering why suffragists had to fight so hard, and who was fighting against them.
THE WOMAN’S HOUR RECEIVES 2019 SILVER GAVEL AWARD
The Woman’s Hour has won the American Bar Association’s highest honor, The Silver Gavel Award for a book furthering the American public’s understanding of law. The award ceremony will be held this summer at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Elaine was invited by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden to speak at the press preview of the Library’s new suffrage exhibit, Shall Not Be Denied, and to participate in the opening ceremonies.
STEVEN SPIELBERG’S AMBLIN TV DEVELOPING THE WOMAN’S HOUR FOR TELEVISION
FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON TO SERVE AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Buy the Book, E-book or Audio Book
Available online and at your favorite booksellers
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New from author Elaine Weiss
“Both a page-turning drama and an inspiration for every reader”
– Hillary Rodham Clinton
Soon to be a major television event, the nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.
Nashville, August 1920: Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don’t want black women voting. And then there are the “Antis”–women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel’s, and the Bible.
Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, along with appearances by Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Woman’s Hour is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.
Weiss’s remarkably entertaining work of scholarship provides a thorough and timely examination of a shining moment in the ongoing fight to achieve a more perfect union.
Elaine Weiss in the News
A collection of essays, interviews, reviews and speaking engagements.
New York Times Suffrage Centennial Special section, Advisory Board
Suffrage Isn’t ‘Boring History.’ It’s a Story of Political Geniuses. And by the way, it’s “suffragist” not “suffragette.” Read online at nytimes.com
Panel Discussion of “The Trial of Susan B. Anthony” Opera by Steven Mark Kohn
ADA Artist Management October 26, 2020 | 01:20:20 Hosted by Lawrence Brownlee, this talk back will feature the artists, composer, and special guests Elaine Weiss, Sharon I. Nelson, and Deborah Hughes. Topics of discussion will be the inspiration for The Trial of Susan...
Elaine was the Opening Speaker for the Chautauqua Institution’s Suffrage Centennial Week
The Chautauquan Daily ‘Woman’s Hour’ author Elaine Weiss opens Chautauqua week dedicated to suffrage centennial July 27, 2020 In many ways, it makes sense that Elaine Weiss is opening Week Five of the CHQ Assembly season, dedicated to celebrating the centennial of...
The Final Desperate Battle for Suffrage in Tennessee
Photo of Carrie Chapman Catt speaking on an old fashioned candlestick phone. LOC Carrie Chapman Catt. Collections of the Library of Congress (https://www.loc.gov/item/94506343/) NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ARTICLE The Final Desperate Battle for Suffrage in Tennessee...
C-SPAN American History Q&A Program on Ratification of 19th Amendment
C-SPAN AMERICAN HISTORY Q&A August 11, 2020 | 01:00 Elaine WeissJournalist and author Elaine Weiss discussed her book, The Woman’s Hour, about the lead-up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on August 18, 1920, that guaranteed women...
The 1600 Sessions: Women’s Suffrage and the White House
The 1600 Sessions Presented by the White House Historical Association Women’s Suffrage and the White House July 23, 2020 | 01:01 | 44 This year marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the culmination of the suffragists’ fight to secure the right to vote for women....
”History with Howard Rubenstein” PBS/New York Historical Society Series
”History with Howard Rubenstein” PBS/New York Historical Society Series The Elaine Weiss interview will appear in print form in Rubenstein’s forthcoming book, The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream in Fall 2021. * * * About The Book American icons and...
She Votes! Podcast Elaine Weiss Interview
She Votes! Podcast: Mother Knows Best August 26th, 2020 | 36:52 | S1:E7 EPISODE SUMMARY August 18, 1920. Nashville, Tennessee. Men and women on both sides of the suffrage fight have been battling for weeks over the final state needed to ratify the 19th amendment,...
Christian Science Monitor Centennial Special Coverage – 19th Amendment: The six-week ‘brawl’ that won women the vote
Women march for the right to vote in Nashville. Tennessee was the final state to ratify the 19th Amendment, passing it narrowly on August 18, 1920. Tennessee State Library & Archives 19th Amendment: The six-week 'brawl' that won women the vote by Elaine Weiss,...