In its current issue, Time Magazine celebrates 1920 as the year of the suffragists. In the story, the magazine talks about Carrie Chapman Catt, leader of the mainstream two-million-strong National American Woman Suffrage Association, and Alice Paul, the radical activist who headed the much smaller National Women’s Party. Here is what Time wrote:
“Catt opted for pragmatism and politics, lobbying on a state level and in the halls of Congress. Along the way, she tussled with Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, militant suffragists who preferred a more dramatic approach. Paul and Burns organized public parades and staged a groundbreaking, years long White House picket with banners that implored President Woodrow Wilson to act. The “Silent Sentinels” endured arrests and imprisonment in a squalid workhouse where they were brutalized and force-fed. Which approach was more effective? “Every movement for social change needs both,” says suffrage historian Johanna Neuman.”
Please check out my new book — And Yet They Persisted: How American Women Won the Right to Vote — for more details on this and other aspects of the very long struggle for the vote, from Abigail Adams during the revolutionary era to Fanny Lou Hamer during the civil rights era — eight generations of women, over two centuries, persisting in their claim on citizenship.