America's First Woman Lawyer: The Biography of Myra Bradwell

America's First Woman Lawyer: The Biography of Myra Bradwell

by Jane M. Friedman
     
 
During her lifetime, Myra Bradwell (1831-1894) - America's "first" woman lawyer as well as publisher and editor-in-chief of a prestigious legal newspaper - did more to establish and aid the rights of women and other legally handicapped people than any other woman of her day. Her female contemporaries - Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone - are known

Overview

During her lifetime, Myra Bradwell (1831-1894) - America's "first" woman lawyer as well as publisher and editor-in-chief of a prestigious legal newspaper - did more to establish and aid the rights of women and other legally handicapped people than any other woman of her day. Her female contemporaries - Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone - are known to all. Now it is time for Myra Bradwell to assume her rightful place among women's rights leaders of the nineteenth century. With author Jane Friedman's discovery of previously unpublished letters and valuable documents, Bradwell's fascinating story can at last be told.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After she applied to practice law in 1869 in her home state of Illinois and was denied, Myra Bradwell (1831-1894) instead became a legal journalist, publishing and editing the influential Chicago Legal News. In this heavily footnoted and prodigiously researched study, Wayne State University law professor Friedman posits that Bradwell's achievements have been overlooked because her disagreements with feminist Susan B. Anthony led Anthony to exclude Bradwell from her definitive History of Woman Suffrage. Using her journal as a forum, Bradwell successfully agitated for judicial reform and women's rights, particularly the right of married women to enter the professions. She and her husband James, an attorney, obtained the release of Mary Todd Lincoln, who had been committed to an insane asylum by her son. Although Friedman celebrates Bradwell's legal skill and tenacity, she also acknowledges her frequent lapses into duplicity and anti-Semitism in this objective portrait. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)
Library Journal
In a 1982 opinion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor cited Myra Bradwell's hard-fought, successful campaign (culminating in 1869) to practice law, but few who read that opinion recognized Bradwell's name. In this work, Friedman (law, Wayne State Univ.) reintroduces Bradwell, a feminist and long-term editor/publisher of the weekly Chicago Legal News . Friedman's accounts of Bradwell's fight to secure Mary Todd Lincoln's release from an asylum and her efforts on behalf of women's equality in various occupations are thoroughly absorbing, as are discussions of Bradwell's controversies concerning Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Friedman depicts these activities fairly and portrays Bradwell evenhandedly. This useful book restores an important figure to her rightful place in American history and indicates that even an imperfect human being can be a splendid role model. Highly recommended.-- Jane S. Bakerman, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute
Booknews
Bradwell (1831-1894) passed the Illinois bar exam in 1869, was barred from practicing law because of her sex, but determinedly established the Chicago Legal News through which she advocated, drafted, and secured the enactment of legal reform in many areas. Her advocacy on behalf of Mary Todd Lincoln is detailed here, along with the many other accomplishments that place Bradwell among the distinguished social activists of her day. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780879758127
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
05/28/1993
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
5.63(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.68(d)

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