A Women’s Equality Day Reading List

Happy Women’s Equality Day 2021! From the 1973 Joint Resolution of the United States Congress:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That August 26, 1973, is designated as ‘Women’s Equality Day’, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation in commemoration of thatday in 1920 on which the women of America were first guaranteed the right to vote. Approved August 16, 1973.

We have curated a Women’s Equality Day reading list below which covers a broad spectrum of histories and feminisms pertaining to suffrage and voter rights, workplace equality, as well as gender parity in all aspects of life.

The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898
By Lisa Tetrault

“This provocative work challenges the standard narrative of the history of the women’s rights movement in the United States. Even more important, however, it aids readers in understanding how collective historical memory is created and shaped. . . . Fascinating. . . . Recommended for scholars in women’s history, constitutional history, and late 19th-century American history.”—Library Journal

Her Cold War: Women in the U.S. Military, 1945–1980
By Tanya L. Roth (on sale Sept. 2021)

“Focused on a crucial, though often-overlooked time period, Her Cold War follows servicewomen’s struggles not only to integrate the U.S. military but also to transform it. Tanya L. Roth skillfully and seamlessly restores ‘womanpower’ to its central place in the history of the American military and the women’s movement, demonstrating once and for all the irretractable ties between second-wave feminism and Cold War national defense.”—Kara Dixon Vuic, author of The Girls Next Door: Bringing the Home Front to the Front Lines

Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement
By Cathleen D. Cahill

“This spirited history situates the campaign for female suffrage within the broader narrative of civil rights. . . . Cahill’s widened focus links the battle for enfranchisement to currents of exclusion and empowerment that continue to shape the vote today.”New Yorker

Feminism for the Americas: The Making of an International Human Rights Movement
By Katherine M. Marino

“The best book on Western Hemispheric feminism in at least two decades. . . . A necessary starting point for anyone contemplating research on inter-American feminism. . . . Marino has given us a masterpiece.”Hispanic American Historical Review

U.S. History As Women’s History: New Feminist Essays
Edited by Linda K. Kerber, Alice Kessler-Harris, and Kathryn Kish Sklar

U.S. History as Women’s History is theoretically literate without being highly theorized. . . . It demonstrates the extraordinary importance of analyzing gender within historically specific contexts also shaped by race, class, political structures, and culture. . . . The result is a richly dynamic view of the past, which no brief summary can convey. . . . This is history that matters, that makes a difference.”Journal of American History

The Origins of Women’s Activism: New York and Boston, 1797-1840
By Anne M. Boylan

“By combining exhaustive research on seventy-seven organizations and 1,142 individuals with a mastery of the secondary literature, [Boylan] weaves her history of women’s organizations and gender ideology into the tapestry of economic booms and busts, religious revivals and rivalries, developing class consciousness, immigration, and shifting political power that characterized the period.”History of Education Quarterly