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Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience
     

Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience

by Susan Pedersen
 

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When British women demanded the vote in the years before the First World War, they promised to use political rights to remake their country and their world. This is the story of Eleanor Rathbone, the woman who best fulfilled that pledge.
Rathbone cut her political teeth in the suffrage movement in Liverpool, spent two decades crafting social reforms for poor

Overview

When British women demanded the vote in the years before the First World War, they promised to use political rights to remake their country and their world. This is the story of Eleanor Rathbone, the woman who best fulfilled that pledge.
Rathbone cut her political teeth in the suffrage movement in Liverpool, spent two decades crafting social reforms for poor women and children, and was for seventeen years their advocate in the House of Commons. She also played a critical role in imperial policymaking and in the opposition to appeasement. In the last decade of her life she sought to rescue Spanish republicans and Jews threatened by Hitler’s rise to power.
In this important book, Susan Pedersen illuminates both the public and private sides of Rathbone’s life while restoring her to her rightful place as the most sophisticated feminist thinker and most effective British woman politician of the first half of the twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
British suffragist, social scientist, and politician Eleanor Rathbone (1872-1946) served in the House of Commons in a career that spanned both world wars. Perhaps best known for her advocacy for families and children, Rathbone insisted that women should receive pay for their work as wives and mothers in the form of what she called a family allowance. She was influential in various other women's issues throughout the British Empire and adamantly opposed appeasement during World War II. Pedersen (history, Columbia Univ.) draws on an impressive list of primary sources to provide a meticulous analysis of Rathbone's public and private lives. This is scholarly biography at its best, enriched by nuance and detail that bring to life the machinations of British politics and feminism in an age of imperialism and war. Even academic libraries owning Johanna Alberti's biography of Rathbone will want Pedersen's book for its significant contribution to British history and feminist thought. Linda V. Carlisle, Southern Illinois Univ., Edwardsville Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300102451
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
05/10/2004
Series:
Society and the Sexes in the Modern World Series
Pages:
488
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Pedersen is professor of history at Columbia University.

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