In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendement on August 18, 1920, UC Press is spotlighting Nine Women: Portraits from the American Radical Tradition by Judith Nies, which includes a chapter on Elizabeth Cady Stanton, organizer of the first Women’s Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, in 1848 and the first president of the National Woman Suffrage Association.

We have a higher duty than the demand for suffrage. . . . We see that the right of suffrage avails nothing for the masses in competition with the wealthy classes, and, worse still, with each other. Women all over the country are working earnestly in many fragmentary reforms, each believing that her own, if achieved, would usher in a new day of peace and plenty.

—Elizabeth Cady Stanton in New York Journal, 1898

Nine Women
Portraits from the American Radical Tradition

by Judith Nies

In an expanded edition of her history of American women activists, Judith Nies has added biographical essays on feminist Bella Abzug and civil rights visionary Fannie Lou Hamer and a new chapter on women environmental activists. Included are portraits of Sarah Moore Grimké, who rejected her life as a Southern aristocrat and slaveholder to promote women’s rights and the abolition of slavery; Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who led more than three hundred slaves to freedom on the Underground Railway; Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the first woman to run for Congress, who advocated for women’s rights to own property, to vote, and to divorce; Mother Jones, “the Joan of Arc of the coalfields,” one of the most inspiring voices of the American labor movement; Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who worked for the reform of two of America’s most cherished institutions, the home and motherhood; Anna Louise Strong, an intrepid journalist who covered revolutions in Russia and China; and Dorothy Day, cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement, who fed and sheltered the hungry and homeless in New York’s Bowery for more than forty years.

“Judith Nies begins here to restore the great women radicals to their tradition, knowing that to think of these heroic women simply as fighters for women’s suffrage and women’s rights is to impoverish . . . the larger political tradition.”—In These Times