Originally published by From the Square, the NYU Press blog. Reprinted with permission.
2017 marks the centennial of women gaining the right to vote in New York. Did you know that our great state was a paramount player in the national movement for women’s suffrage? From Woodstock to Williamsburg, Seneca Falls to Chinatown, Buffalo to Battery Park, women in New York were leaders in the movement for sixty-nine years, until suffrage was legalized in 1917. In the city, the women who really changed the course of the cause were a group of elite socialites with names like Astor, Belmont, Rockefeller, and Vanderbilt. In Gilded Suffragists Johanna Neuman brings these high class and high power ladies to life, illustrating how they leveraged their social celebrity for political power, turning the women’s right to vote into a fashionable cause. Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello highlight the activism of rural, urban, African American, Jewish, immigrant, and European American women, as well as male suffragists, both upstate and downstate, that led to the positive outcome of the 1917 referendum. In Women Will Vote they convincingly argue that the agitation and organization that led to New York women’s victory in 1917 changed the course of American history.
We will be celebrating the 2017 centenary of women’s right to full suffrage in New York State (and city) this November, but why not start early? In the Cornell University Press podcast 1869, the authors come together in episode 15 to discuss their new books and the women who changed the course of history forever. Happy listening!
Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State
Susan Goodier, Karen Pastorello
Cornell University Press
Gilded Suffragists: The New York Socialites who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote
Washington Mews Books