This book is an in-depth analysis of how the National Woman's Party's militancy evolved during the period of early twentieth century feminism and American suffrage as a response to the intransigence of male-centered government. Working first as aggressive political lobbyists in an era of progressive reform, the militants brought their struggle on into a period of war hysteria in which they developed an effective strategy of nonviolent civil disobedience as anti-government dissenters. Feminist militancy and readiness to resist authorities and break the law for women's rights developed gradually. Women militants, composed of a wide variety of intensely committed women, were not shy about critiquing male oppression and in turn, male authorities responded to the perceived threat of these unnatural "iron-jawed" females. This study examines the nature of these militants, with biographical sketches, and their evolution from petitions to pickets to prison. Selected by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in the United States as an outstanding book.
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Linda G. Ford is Assistant Professor of History at Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire.
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