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The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear

The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear

by Kate Moore


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Notes From Your Bookseller

How is it that we do not already know about this remarkable, courageous woman of 19th century America, who advocated for the rights of women and those accused of insanity, and was a contemporary to such feminist lights as Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony? Kudos and gratitude to Kate Moore for this gift of an intelligent and sensitive history told with the riveting energy of a gripping novel.

From the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Radium Girls comes another dark and dramatic but ultimately uplifting tale of a forgotten woman hero whose inspirational journey sparked lasting change for women's rights and exposed injustices that still resonate today.

1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened—by Elizabeth's intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So he makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum.

The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they've been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line—conveniently labeled "crazy" so their voices are ignored.

No one is willing to fight for their freedom and, disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose...

Bestselling author Kate Moore brings her sparkling narrative voice to The Woman They Could Not Silence, an unputdownable story of the forgotten woman who courageously fought for her own freedom—and in so doing freed millions more. Elizabeth's refusal to be silenced and her ceaseless quest for justice not only challenged the medical science of the day, and led to a giant leap forward in human rights, it also showcased the most salutary lesson: sometimes, the greatest heroes we have are those inside ourselves.

Praise for The Woman They Could Not Silence:

"Like Radium Girls, this volume is a page-turner."—Library Journal, STARRED review

"A veritable tour de force about how far women's rights have come and how far we still have to go...Put this book in the hands of every young feminist."—Booklist, STARRED review

"In Moore's expert hands, this beautifully-written tale unspools with drama and power, and puts Elizabeth Packard on the map at the most relevant moment imaginable. You will be riveted—and inspired. Bravo!"—Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492696728
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 06/22/2021
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 2,243
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Kate Moore is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Radium Girls, which won the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Best History, was voted U.S. librarians' favorite nonfiction book of 2017,and was named a Notable Nonfiction Book of 2018 by the American Library Association. A British writer based in London, Kate writes across a variety of genres and has had multiple titles on the Sunday Times bestseller list. She is passionate about politics, storytelling, and resurrecting forgotten heroes.

Table of Contents

Author's Note 9

Prologue 13

Part 1 Brave New World 15

Part 2 Dark Before The Dawn 173

Part 3 My Pen Shall Rage 229

Part 4 Deal with The Devil? 323

Part 5 Turning Points 371

Part 6 She Will Rise 497

Epilogue 602

Postscript 621

Reading Group Guide 627

A Conversation with The Author 631

Selected Bibliography Picture 641

Acknowledgments 661

Abbreviations 665

Notes 667

Acknowledgments 787

About The Author 793

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