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. The second, 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 6-Up-Throughout American history, women have worked for political reform, and Morin introduces eight of them: Abigail Foster, an abolitionist and activist for the voting rights of African Americans and women; Frances Willard, an educator, founder of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and a leader in the women's suffrage movement; and Ida Wells-Barnett, a journalist and anti-lynching crusader. Also included are Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National Women's Suffrage Association and a genius of political strategy; Molly Dewson, an advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt; Pauli Murray, the first African American to receive a Doctorate of Juridical Science degree from Yale; Fannie Lou Hammer, an influential nonviolent activist in the civil rights movement; and Gloria Steinem, the founder of Ms. magazine. Discussions of these political leaders are clear and thorough, but somewhat dense; a great deal of information is packed into each short chapter. The book includes black-and-white photos of the featured women and other figures of the times. There is some overlap between this book and the lively ``Contributions of Women'' series and Nancy Levinson's The First Women Who Spoke Out (1983; o.p., both Dillon).-Rebecca O'Connell, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Morin profiles eight notable American women who are not officeholders or women "firsts" but, rather, well- and not-so-well-known political activists for specific causes. Abby Kelly Foster "was considered a troublemaker" as she crusaded tirelessly for abolition and then later for the Fifteenth Amendment. As a young woman, temperance leader Frances Willard wrote of her desire to "earn my own living, fight my own battles, and be a felt force in the world." The others include Ida Wells-Barnett, Pauli Murray, and Fannie Lou Hamer from the civil rights arena; Carrie Chapman Catt, a voice for woman suffrage; Molly Dewson, a twentieth-century advocate for women's political voices; and feminist leader Gloria Steinem. The individual vignettes stand well on their own and give a good sense of the times that flavored each woman's crusade. Coverage of contemporary issues is fairly well balanced. An ample selection of black-and-white photographs complements the strong narrative. Report writers will find this an especially good source. Historical events timetable; bibliography.