Before 1893 no woman anywhere in the world had the vote in a national election. A hundred years later almost all countries had enfranchised women, and it was a sign of backwardness not to have done so. This is the story of how this momentous change came about. The first genuinely global history of women and the vote, it takes the story of women in politics from the earliest times to the present day, revealing startling new connections across time and national boundaries - from Europe and North America to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Muslim world post-9/11. A story of individuals as well as of wider movements, it includes the often dramatic life-stories of women's suffrage pioneers from across the world, painting vivid biographical portraits of everyone from Susan B. Anthony and the Pankhursts to hitherto lesser-known activists in China, Latin America, and Africa. It is also the first major post-feminist history of women's struggle for the vote. Controversially, Jad Adams rejects the widely accepted idea that success was primarily a result of the pressure group politics of the suffragists and their supporters.
Ultimately, he argues, it was nationalism, not feminism, that was the most important factor in winning women the vote.
Jad Adams is an independent historian specializing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is a Research Fellow at the Institute of English, School of Advanced Study, University of London, and a Fellow of the Institute of Historical Research. His books include major biographies of Tony Benn, of Gandhi, and a composite biography of the Nehru dynasty. A frequent reviewer of books for national publications, he lives in London and on the Greek island of Leros.
Introduction ; 1. Democracy before Democracy ; 2. The Rights of Man ; 3. Early British Radicals ; 4. Rise of the Middle Class Campaigner ; 5. New Found Rights in New Found Lands ; 6. 'In with our women' in the Western US ; 7. Out of the Doll's House in Scandinavia ; 8. Lobbyists to Militants in Britain ; 9. Victory and Disenfranchisement in the US ; 10. Who Won Votes from the War? ; 11. The Pope and the Vote - Catholic Europe ; 12. Latin American Mothers of the Nation ; 13. The Enfranchisement of the East ; 14. Africa and the Cold War ; 15. The Veiled Vote ; Conclusion ; Appendix 1: The Strange Case of Switzerland ; Appendix 2: Chronology of Women's Suffrage ; Notes ; Bibliography ; Index