"Both a page-turning drama and an inspiration for every reader"--Hillary Rodham Clinton
Soon to Be a Major Television Event
The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.
"With a skill reminiscent of Robert Caro, [Weiss] turns the potentially dry stuff of legislative give-and-take into a drama of courage and cowardice."--The Wall Street Journal
"Weiss is a clear and genial guide with an ear for telling language ... She also shows a superb sense of detail, and it's the deliciousness of her details that suggests certain individuals warrant entire novels of their own... Weiss's thoroughness is one of the book's great strengths. So vividly had she depicted events that by the climactic vote (spoiler alert: The amendment was ratified!), I got goose bumps."--Curtis Sittenfeld, The New York Times Book Review
Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the "Antis"--women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel's, and the Bible.
Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, along with appearances by Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Woman's Hour is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.
Voice actor Gilbert does an excellent job narrating Weiss's well-researched account of the push to ratify the 19th Amendment in Tennessee in 1920. She relies on a clear, authoritative style for much of the book as she traverses through Weiss's dense script, which involves a large ensemble of women both for and against women's suffrage. The book culminates on August 18, 1920, at the 19th Amendment Ratification Convention in Nashville, as 96 members of the Tennessee House of Representatives gathered to cast their votes. Gilbert captures the excitement as she relays the drama of the day. The initial vote was a tie, and by the time a second vote was taken, a young Tennessee lawmaker named Harry Burn had a change of heart after rereading a letter from his mother telling him to vote "aye." Weiss illuminates this complex moment in the history of women's rights in America, and it's a testament to Gilbert's dramatic reading abilities that listeners will be rapt even though they know how the story ends. A Viking hardcover.