My new book, Gilded Suffragists: The New York Socialites Who Fought for Women’s Right To Vote, tells the fascinating story of more than two hundred New York social figures -- Astors, Belmonts, Harrimans, Vanderbilts and their circle -- who joined the women’s suffrage movement in the 1910s. Chronicled by a vibrant newspaper industry for their extravagant lifestyles, they became the media darlings of their day. And when these glamorous socialites embraced the suffrage campaign, they became the first celebrities to endorse a political cause in the twentieth century.…
Available September 2017
In writing about people, I delight in discovering aspects of their lives that illuminate their character. When I wrote the obituary of Ronald Reagan, I read that as he was leaving the presidency, a reporter asked Reagan what it had been like to be an actor in the White House, the first. He cocked his head, smiled and said, “There have been times in this office when I’ve wondered how you could do the job if you hadn’t been an actor.” To me, that anecdote told volumes about his values and his perspective on power and its uses.
To me, the four most powerful words in any language are, “Once upon a time.” Storytelling is inspiring, and at its heart is a focus on people. Stories, whether novels or histories, hold a mirror to our own lives, teaching us about ourselves and about our shared fears, observations and ambitions.
My Interview with C-SPAN
Historian Johanna Neuman talked about the evolution of and interactions between American and British suffrage movements. This interview took place at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.
My interview on WNYC News
Aug 2, 2016 · by Jim O'Grady
As she campaigns, Hillary Clinton is making history as the first woman nominated for the presidency by a major party. But 77 years before Clinton was born, an upstart named Victoria Woodhull wrote a letter to The New York Herald announcing her ground-breaking bid for the White House. This is the story of the first woman to run for president, in 1872, and how she compares to the latest.