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Inhaltsangabe: In the rotunda of the nation's Capital a statue pays homage to three famous nineteenth-century American women suffragists: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott. "Historically," the inscription beneath the marble statue notes, "these three stand unique and peerless." In fact, the statue has a glaring omission: Lucy Stone. A pivotal leader in the fight for both abolition and gender equality, her achievements marked the beginning of the women's rights movement and helped to lay the groundwork for the eventual winning of women's suffrage. Yet, today most Americans have never heard of Lucy Stone.
Sally McMillen sets out to address this significant historical oversight in this engaging biography. Exploring her extraordinary life and the role she played in crafting a more just society, McMillen restores Lucy Stone to her rightful place at the center of the nineteenth-century women's rights movement. Raised in a middle-class Massachusetts farm family, Stone became convinced at an early age that education was key to women's independence and selfhood, and went on to attend the Oberlin Collegiate Institute. When she graduated in 1847 as one of the first women in the US to earn a college degree, she was drawn into the public sector as an activist and quickly became one of the most famous orators of her day. Lecturing on anti-slavery and women's rights, she was instrumental in organizing and speaking at several annual national woman's rights conventions throughout the 1850s. She played a critical role in the organization and leadership of the American Equal Rights Association during the Civil War, and, in 1869, cofounded the American Woman Suffrage Association, one of two national women's rights organizations that fought for women's right to vote. Encompassing Stone's marriage to Henry Blackwell and the birth of their daughter Alice, as well as her significant friendships with Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, and others, McMillen's biography paints a complete picture of Stone's influential and eminently important life and work.
Self-effacing until the end of her life, Stone did not relish the limelight the way Elizabeth Cady Stanton did, nor did she gain the many followers whom Susan B. Anthony attracted through her extensive travels and years of dedicated work. Yet her contributions to the woman's rights movement were no less significant or revolutionary than those of her more widely lauded peers. In this accessible, readable, and historically-grounded work, Lucy Stone is finally given the standing she deserves.
Sally McMillen has written the best kind of revisionist history with her Lucy Stone biography the kind that fills gaps in knowledge of centuries past. Yes, Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton deserve the fame they achieved as promoters of nineteenth-century women's rights. But Lucy Stone has deserved greater recognition for a long, long time. And now that recognition has arrived in a thoroughly researched, compellingly written biography. ( Steve Weinberg, author of Taking on the Trust: The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller)
Splendidly readable and superbly researched, Sally McMillen's biography demonstrates why Lucy Stone belongs in the pantheon of American woman suffragists. Stone comes to life in this vivid portraal of her humanitarian commitments, organizational achievements, and the complex interaction of public and private life. Scholars, students, and general readers will develop a new appreciation for this remarkable person and her struggles to 'make the world better.' ( Carol Lasser, Oberlin College)
Steeped in research, this expert biography tracks the interplay of radical impulse with issues of leadership, policy, rivalry, and reputation. Always lucid, always lively, it captures the conflicts that absorbed the nineteenth-century women's movement and shaped its history. A fascinating story! ( Nancy Woloch, Barnard College)
In this richly researched and elegantly written biography, Sally G. McMillen does a great service by returning Lucy Stone to the center of the complex and fascinating drama of personalities and events in the nineteenth-century women's movement. ( J. Matthew Gallman, Professor of History, University of Florida)
In this major biography, Lucy Stone finally gets her due as a pioneer and an American ahead of her time. With impeccable research and crisp prose, Sally McMillen renders an unforgettable portrait of an 'uncommon woman.' ( Catherine Allgor, Director of Education, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens)
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