Book review: Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights, by Deborah Kops

Kops, Deborah. Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights. Calkins Creek, 2017. $17.95. 224p. ISBN 978-1-62979-323-8. Ages 13-16. P5Q7

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton may have been far better known than Alice Paul, but she is the suffragist who most struggled for women’s right to the ballot box in her protests leading to force-feeding in prison, other brutal treatment in and out of jail, and illnesses that took a serious toll on her life until she died at the age of 92 in 1977. The book lacks very much personal detail because she seemed to have little personal life; almost everything she did was for the cause she identified early as a Quaker. Learning her activist while a graduate student in England during the early 20th century, she organized such events as the 2013 protest march in Washington and then formed the National Women’s Party in 1916 after the National American Woman Suffrage Association thought that she went too far in her fight for the vote. Paul was the author of the Equal Rights Amendment, designed to make discriminatory laws against women unconstitutional, which Congress has never passed.

Verdict: The narrative slows down in places, and the lack of personal details about Paul makes parts of the book a bit dry, but Paul needs to be better known. This book may help the lack of information about her for younger readers.

March 2017 review by Nel Ward.

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