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The story of the fight to gain the vote for women is about much more than a picturesque skirmish around the introduction of universal suffrage. It is an explosive story of social and sexual revolutionary upheaval, and one which has not yet ended. The movement for women's suffrage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries prefigured to a startling extent the controversies which rage today around the role of women. Far from the stereotype of a uniform body of women chaining themselves to railings, the early feminist movement was riven by virulent arguments over women's role in society, the balance to be struck between self-fulfilment and their duties to family and children, and their relationship with men.
Posted April 9, 2010
The Ascent of Woman provides some good scholarship on the militant suffragist movement in Great Britain. Perhaps most interesting about this book, however, is that it examines many of the ideological rifts within the women's suffrage movement that are often ignored or smoothed over by other historical works. It also goes further in examining the causes and roots of the suffragettes than many other works which simply focus on the Pankhurst family. This book provides a good overview of the Suffragette movement, and is highly enjoyable and readable. I feel like this book is accessible to those with an interest in women's issues and/or rights who are not historians by trade or education. This is a thought provoking book that will leave most people wanting to learn more about the women and ideas behind the fractured suffrage movement.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.