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 fundamental rights of citizenship: the right to control wages, hold property, to contract, to sue, to testify in court. Their struggle was confrontational (women were the first to picket the White House for a political cause) and violent (women were arrested, jailed, and force-fed in prisons). And like every revolutionary before them, their struggle was personal.
Books have extolled their accomplishments and noted their sacrifices. For the first time, historian Jean H. Baker interweaves these women's private lives with their public achievements. Baker presents these revolutionary women in three dimensions, humanized and approachable. Stone the martyr and missionary; Stanton the antireligious individualist; Anthony the activist lesbian; Willard the organizational mastermind; Paul the militant feminist. Finally, these formidable founding mothers of American feminism have been introduced as the sisters they were to each other, and as they must be remembered by the feminists who follow in their footsteps.