The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898

The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898

by Lisa Tetrault

Paperback(Reprint)

$27.95
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Tuesday, October 23?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.
    Same Day shipping in Manhattan. 
    See Details

Overview

The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898 by Lisa Tetrault

The story of how the women's rights movement began at the Seneca Falls convention of 1848 is a cherished American myth. The standard account credits founders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott with defining and then leading the campaign for women's suffrage. In her provocative new history, Lisa Tetrault demonstrates that Stanton, Anthony, and their peers gradually created and popularized this origins story during the second half of the nineteenth century in response to internal movement dynamics as well as the racial politics of memory after the Civil War. The founding mythology that coalesced in their speeches and writings—most notably Stanton and Anthony's History of Woman Suffrage—provided younger activists with the vital resource of a usable past for the ongoing struggle, and it helped consolidate Stanton and Anthony's leadership against challenges from the grassroots and rival suffragists.

As Tetrault shows, while this mythology has narrowed our understanding of the early efforts to champion women's rights, the myth of Seneca Falls itself became an influential factor in the suffrage movement. And along the way, its authors amassed the first archive of feminism and literally invented the modern discipline of women's history.

2015 Mary Jurich Nickliss Prize, Organization of American Historians

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469633503
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/01/2017
Series: Gender and American Culture Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 565,429
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Lisa Tetrault is associate professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University.

Table of Contents


The story of how the women's rights movement began at the Seneca Falls convention of 1848 is a cherished American myth. The standard account credits founders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott with defining and then leading the campaign for women's suffrage. In her provocative new history, Lisa Tetrault demonstrates that Stanton, Anthony, and their peers gradually created and popularized this origins story during the second half of the nineteenth century in response to internal movement dynamics as well as the racial politics of memory after the Civil War.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A clear, well-written, and vivid account. Tetrault's arguments about the ways that any movement—in this case the woman suffrage movement—shapes its future course by re-imagining its past will provide substantive grist for discussion. Tetrault's characterization of the battle over memory in the woman suffrage movement will help readers to see the 'founding mothers' of American feminism in a complex and revealing light. Since, as she notes, they have tended to be memorialized in public school curricula and public history sites in the heroic light they themselves framed, this discussion will be revelatory."
—Annelise Orleck, author of Common Sense and a Little Fire: Women and Working Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews