The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote

Elaine Weiss, read by Tavia Gilbert. Penguin Audio, , unabridged, digital download, 16.5 hrs., $25 ISBN 978-0-525-53243-9
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. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2018
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