Abolitionist Abby Kelley Foster and liberationist Gloria Steinem are among the women who never held public office yet reformed politics, in the first of Isobel V. Morin's related volumes (Women Who Reformed Politics). This second volume, Women of the U.S. Congress, has been updated to reflect the dramatic changes since its 1994 publication. Its profiles include the late Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress, and Carol Moseley Braun, the first Black woman to become a U.S. Senator.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Eleven women who have served in the U.S. Congress during the 20th century are profiled in this informative collective biography. Short but detailed biographical sketches are provided for well-known figures such as Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm as well as lesser-known individuals such as Jeannette Rankin, Nancy Landon Kassebaum, and Barbara Mikulski. Morin includes Republicans and Democrats and features a wide range of political viewpoints. In a balanced and readable manner, she relates the early lives and professional careers of each woman. Well-placed, average-quality, black-and-white photographs appear throughout. A chronological listing of all of the women who have served in Congress is appended. The major flaw in the book is its lack of footnotes and sources for quotations used throughout the text.-April L. Judge, formerly at Jefferson Madison Regional Library, Charlottesville, VA
Morin provides brief political biographies of 7 of the 159 women who have served in the U.S. Congress and mentions 4 more in the concluding chapter, The Year of the Woman: 1992. In her attempt to represent a range of backgrounds and political styles, the author includes some obvious choices, such as pacifist Jeannette Rankin (the first women elected to the House of Representatives), Margaret Chase Smith, Shirley Chisholm, and Barbara Jordan, and some not so obvious choices, such as Nancy Landon Kassebaum. The most glaring omission is Geraldine Ferraro, given her status as the only congresswoman to be tapped to run for higher office. All the biographies, which are concise yet interesting, highlight the subject's most significant contributions and contain anecdotes that point out gender-based political inequities without being didactic. Valuable for school projects concerning government, biography, or women's studies, with many high-resolution, full-page black-and-white photos and a handy list of all the women who have served in the Congress, including their parties, terms of office, and home states.