What We Are Reading Today: Forging the Franchise

Updated 02 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Forging the Franchise

BOOK TITLE: Forging the Franchise: The Political Origins of the Women’s Vote 

AUTHOR:  Dawn Langan Teele

 

In the 1880s, women were barred from voting in all national-level elections, but by 1920 they were going to the polls in nearly thirty countries.

What caused this massive change? Why did male politicians agree to extend voting rights to women?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, it was not because of progressive ideas about women or suffragists’ pluck.

In most countries, elected politicians fiercely resisted enfranchising women, preferring to extend such rights only when it seemed electorally prudent and in fact necessary to do so.

Through a careful examination of the tumultuous path to women’s political inclusion in the US, France, and the UK, Forging the Franchise demonstrates that the formation of a broad movement across social divides, and strategic alliances with political parties in competitive electoral conditions, provided the leverage that ultimately transformed women into voters, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Racial Migrations by Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof

Updated 10 min 19 sec ago
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What We Are Reading Today: Racial Migrations by Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof

  • In Racial Migrations, Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof presents a vivid portrait of these largely forgotten migrant revolutionaries

In the late 19th century, a small group of Cubans and Puerto Ricans of African descent settled in the segregated tenements of New York City.

At an immigrant educational society in Greenwich Village, these early Afro-Latino New Yorkers taught themselves to be poets, journalists, and revolutionaries, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

At the same time, these individuals — including Rafael Serra, a cigar maker, writer, and politician; Sotero Figueroa, a typesetter, editor, and publisher; and Gertrudis Heredia, one of the first women of African descent to study midwifery at the University of Havana — built a political network and articulated an ideal of revolutionary nationalism centered on the projects of racial and social justice.

These efforts were critical to the poet and diplomat José Martí’s writings about race and his bid for leadership among Cuban exiles, and to the later struggle to create space for black political participation in the Cuban Republic.

In Racial Migrations, Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof presents a vivid portrait of these largely forgotten migrant revolutionaries.