A Friendship That Changed the World

Published July 28, 2012 by myliteraryleanings

A Review of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World by Penny Colman

Overview from www.bn.com:

In the Spring of 1851 two women met on a street corner in Seneca Falls, New York—Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a thirty-five year old mother of four boys, and Susan B. Anthony, a thirty-one year old, unmarried, former school teacher.  Immediately drawn to each other, they formed an everlasting and legendary friendship. Together they challenged entrenched beliefs, customs, and laws that oppressed women and spearheaded the fight to gain legal rights, including the right to vote despite fierce opposition, daunting conditions, scandalous entanglements and betrayal by their friends and allies.

Weaving events, quotations, personalities, and commentary into a page-turning narrative, Penny Colman tells this compelling story and vividly portrays the friendship between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, a friendship that changed history.

My Review:

I have always been curious about the lives of the women of this country who fought to give all women of the USA the right to vote. I recently decided to finally try to do some research on this topic and checked out a few of them. This was the best one of them all.

Although it was written for a “Young Adult” audience, the scholarship was surprisingly thorough, at least to me. I don’t know what I was expecting but I don’t think this was it. The research also gave the readers an insight into who Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony actually were instead of just telling them what these women did. I think most people who would be interested in this book probably already know more or less what they did but not the kind of people that they were.

Furthermore, the author does not shy away from some topics that might frighten away some writers who write for the younger crowd. Yet at the same time, she does not write anything that I think too many parents would find objectionable.

The best thing about this book though was how she used their own words, to tell their stories and how they saw each other. While they agreed about many subjects, they also had some fights as well. But they always seemed to make up and move on.

The most surprising fact that I learned from reading this book was exactly how long they fought for women’s suffrage. I had not realized that though they had started when they were fairly young, both women died without having their dream realized. (Only a few states had passed women’s suffrage laws at the time of their death. Their dream was to have suffrage nation-wide via an amendment to the Constitution.) I am amazed that they were not more discouraged than they were because I think if I were in their shoes, I might have given up sooner.

Also amazing was how many people who were in favor of the suffrage of former slaves while being again suffrage for women. Even many of their abolitionist male friends were opposed, including Frederick Douglass.

So I recommend this book to people who are interested in women’s suffrage or just knowing a little more about these ladies lives. I know I learned a lot.

Below are two video summaries of their lives if you would like to know a little more about them before you read this book.

First up, Susan B. Anthony

Next, Elizabeth Cady Stanton


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