Women's Rights
People and Perspectives
by Crista DeLuzio, Editor
November 2009, 296pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-114-5
$94, £70, 79€, A135
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-115-2
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The 19th Amendment secured for women the right to vote in 1920—a triumph nearly 80 years in the making. Ratification would never have happened without active widespread support of women across the nation, but as historians have discovered, efforts to gain suffrage and other rights for women throughout America’s history have been distinguished not only by unity, consensus, and advancement, but by plurality, disagreement, and reversals, as well.

A lively, accessible collection of essays exploring the history of the struggle for women's rights in the United States from the colonial period to the present.

The fight for women’s rights was one of the first topics explored by women’s historians when the field emerged in the 1970s. Current and authoritative, Women’s Rights: People and Perspectives shows just how complex and multifaceted our understanding of that fight has become.

Women’s Rights spans the breadth of American history, from Native American women prior to colonization to women during the Revolution, Antebellum period, the Civil War, and the Gilded Age. Coverage of the 20th century moves from the Progressive Era to the Great Depression and World War II; from the emergence of modern feminism to the present. Throughout, it offers fascinating details of ordinary and extraordinary lives while charting the evolving roles of women in American society.


  • Primary sources, including the 1692 witchcraft examination of Bridget Bishop; an excerpt from a 1917 National American Woman Suffrage Organization document, "Why Women Should Vote; " and excerpts from "School Days of an Indian Girl by Zitkala-Sa"
  • Each chapter contains sidebars for more in-depth coverage and an annotated bibliograpy offers information on scholarly works for further research
Crista DeLuzio, PhD, is associate professor of history at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. Her published works include Female Adolescence in American Scientific Thought, 1830–1930.


"Containing analysis, anecdotes, illustrations, and primary source documents, this volume is a valuable addition to any college, academic, or high school library where patrons would need access not only to writings about the issue of women’s rights, but also criticisms, analyses, anecdotes, and primary documents."—ARBAonline, October 1, 2009

"This enlightening source is much more than a roll call of persons and events that influenced women’s rights and the suffrage movement. . . . This title will be extremely useful for research, and individual sections are interesting to peruse on their own. . . . Informative sidebars will pique readers’ interest in lesser-known personalities. Primary-source documents, which are introduced with informative paragraphs explaining their significance, allow advanced researchers the opportunity to explore topics in more depth."—School Library Journal, Starred Review, February 1, 2010

"DeLuzio (Female Adolescence) collects the work of 12 field specialists whose chapter-style essays mine the rich and diverse veins of history that exist within the three chronological phases of the women's movement. The guide opens with a time line that charts the progress of notable females, e.g., Bessie Smith and Sonia Sotomayor. Each subsequent chapter essay is a carefully considered and engaging read that closes with a multipage bibliography. A vital addition to all women's studies collections."—Library Journal, March 1, 2010

"In this social history, DeLuzio (history, Southern Methodist U.) assembles 12 chapters by historians and women's studies scholars from the US on the struggle for women's rights throughout American history. Addressing the waves of feminism as well as the periods between them, chapters survey prominent theorists, women, and political organizers and leaders, as well as ordinary women who played a role in women's rights. Topics include women's rights from the colonial period up to the 1970s; issues such as suffrage, economic independence, reproductive rights, and racial equality; the rights of Native American women; education in the nineteenth and twentieth century; the ongoing movement for women's rights in the present day; and how multiple categories of identity affect women's responses to social inequality and oppression. Primary source documents such as the Declaration of Sentiments, the National American Woman Suffrage Association's 'Why Women Should Vote,' and a letter from the editors of BUST magazine are included."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2010
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