William L. O’Neill describes the three generations that labored to achieve the vote in Everyone Was Brave: The Rise and Fall of Feminism in America, noting that it took three generations to achieve suffrage. While women’s condition improved materially, he concludes it was rather due to socioeconomic changes and not suffrage particularly or feminism generally.
Investigating other avenues through which women channeled their activism after winning the right to vote, After the Vote Was Won: The Later Achievements of Fifteen Suffragists, by Katherine Adams and Michael Keene, demonstrates how Suffs turned their attention to making further gains in other areas of social activism. Similarly, in 100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment: An Appraisal of Women’s Political Activism, Holly J. McCammon and Lee Ann Banazak examine how women have used their vote to further push for civil rights, environmental protection, and feminism over the years. Alternatively, Anna L. Harvey, in Votes without Leverage: Women in American Electoral Politics, 1920–1970, finds that the right to vote did not give women the opportunity to further other policy benefits.
In a notable inverse of the typical gender distribution among historians, a majority of the texts enumerated here have been written by women. They commendably illustrate the long and hard-won fight for woman suffrage, in the process tracing