This is a multi-book review that addresses three volumes from a series, Feminist Voices, that explores the lives of preeminent feminists. Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Gloria Steinem each grew up in families supportive of their education and individuality. Unlike other women of their generations, they were encouraged to learn, provide for themselves, and fight for their beliefs. Devoting their lives to the cause of women, they affected U.S. history through determination, persistence, and faith. Each biographer describes the time and place in which the subject lived, providing a glimpse at the mitigating factors that led each into feminism. In this way, the reader sees how Elizabeth Cady Stanton influenced Anthony and understands that both in turn inspired Catt, who eventually sees the passage of the nineteenth amendment. Steinem, although not connected at all to her predecessors, was certainly influenced by their work. In all three biographies, the authors explore other social issues that each woman valued, providing a broader scope for their beliefs and drive. Anthony championed temperance and abolition, Catt supported international women's rights, and Steinem backed civil rights. Although the choppy writing and quick subject changes are distracting, these biographies provide concise information about important American women, and detail history that is often abbreviated. Bibliographies, Web sites, and illustrations enhance this series that also includes portrayals of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Victoria Woodhull. Perhaps overlooked are other modern feminists such as Betty Friedan. Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P M J (Readable withoutserious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2002, Morgan Reynolds, 128p. PLB
Gr 6-9-This appears to be the first biography of Catt written for a young adult audience. Unfortunately, Somervill's obvious respect and sympathy for her subject fail to enliven the dry text. The suffragist's long life clearly encompassed vast changes in personal, political, and societal arenas, and her active participation in working for change is outlined here. As well as describing Catt's early years, the author provides background on the social issues of the times. This introductory material flows well, but it is followed by a chronological history of Catt's years of work in a variety of organizations that is considerably less effective. Despite Somervill's efforts, it may be difficult for those without a deeper understanding of the women's suffrage movement, its organizations, and its internal rivalries to follow the many events described. Several poor-quality, black-and-white photos, mainly portraits of Catt and her colleagues, accompany the text.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.