From suffrage to the Senate : an encyclopedia of American women in politics /

Main Author: Schenken, Suzanne O'Dea.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c1999.
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Review by Choice Review

Schenken's encyclopedia offers brief biographical sketches of women who have served as members of Congress, state governors, cabinet members, heads of organizations, and leaders in political parties. It also includes entries for women's organizations, legislation and court decisions that specifically address issues related to women, and women's role in larger political movements. Most articles are brief, between one-half and two pages, well written, and usefully cross-referenced. The list of references following articles often points only to other reference books, rarely to primary materials. The substantial appendixes include documents and speeches (unfortunately not linked to articles in the encyclopedia), statistical tables, and a chronology. Although well written and well organized, this encyclopedia is unfortunately a late entry in a competitive field, offering much the same information in the same format as Encyopledia of Women in American Politics, ed. by Jeffrey Schultz and Laura van Assendelft (CH, Jun'99). Its biographical entries overlap substantially with the longer ones in Elizabeth Frost-Knappman and Sarah Kurian's The ABC-Clio Companion to Women's Progress in America, (CH, Dec '94) and Handbook of American Women's History, ed. by Angela Zophy and Frances Kavenik (CH, Sep'90). Either Schenken or Schultz-van Assendelft will serve most libraries well. N. Taylor; Earlham College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

Schenken, author of other works on politics and feminism, has created an alphabetically arranged work that includes women, actions, events, and organizations that have impacted women's lives through policies and politics. The more than 675 entries begin with Abbott, Grace, the first director of the Immigrants' Protective League, and end with YWCA of America. Length varies from a paragraph to more than a page; for example, nearly two full pages are devoted to Rape, including a history of the pressure directed toward revision of both legislation and social attitudes. Each entry carries its own references. The encyclopedia includes a table of contents as well as a table of entries by category. Also included are appendixes. "Documents," the first appendix, offers such writings as the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions of 1848; Mary Turrell's vivid description of prejudice in the Washington, D.C., of 1900; Marian Wright Edelman's 1987 statement "Educating the Black Child: Our Past and Our Future"; and the Workshop Resolutions from the First National Chicana Conference in 1971. The second appendix, "Facts and Statistics," provides information such as the "Senate and Gubernatorial Races Where Women's Votes Provided the Margin of Victory." A 22-page chronology covers the period of time from the civil trial and banishment of Puritan Anne Hutchinson in 1638 to the election of Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, the House of Representative's first open lesbian, in 1999. In addition to print sources, the 22-page bibliography includes Internet sites and legal citations. The index appears to be well constructed with appropriate subheadings and see references. In the entry for Rita Mae Brown, the reader is told that Brown "earned a bachelor's degree from New York University in 1968 . . ." That's accurate as far as it goes, but Brown also earned a Ph.D. from the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., in 1973. The inclusion of Brown's graduate degree would certainly have been in keeping with the encyclopedia's mission. The particular value of From Suffrage to the Senate is the pulling together of often discrete shards of information into a whole. As in real estate, where location is everything, one factor that aids in determining the value of a two-volume encyclopedia can be the company kept by the individual entries contained therein. To tell the story of women and politics, Schenken has brought together people, laws, documents, attitudes, and events covering a 400-year period. The entries gain strength and importance from their proximity to each other and from being bookended by the tables, chronology, and appendixes. Although not the definitive ready-reference source it may have been intended to be, From Suffrage to the Senate is an engaging tool that would be useful in high-school, public, and academic libraries looking for an overview of the political history of women in the U.S. A similar title, Oryx's Encyclopedia of Women in American Politics [RBB Mr 1 99], covers the same ground but treats some of the issues, such as pornography and poverty, in considerably more depth. Though each volume has entries not found in the other, only larger libraries will need both.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Independent scholar Schenken has compiled a well-researched, skillfully organized reference on American women's influence on public life. In addition to the entries, arranged alphabetically with sources, she provides a 21-page chronology of events, from 1638, when the general court of Massachusetts banished Anne Hutchinson for not accepting the limits placed on women, to 1999, when Tammy Baldwin became the first open lesbian to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. The book lists women's organizations, landmark court cases, and key legislation and uses battles over reproductive issues, pornography, and sexual harassment to illustrate how women's concerns have increasingly become mainstream issues. This encyclopedia's accessibility should make it especially helpful to high school and college students, but the author's care and fair, inclusive approach to the issues should appeal to a wide audience. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.--Elaine Machleder, Bronx, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-This unbiased resource presents the history of women in America, from Anne Hutchinson's trial and banishment in 1637 to Anita Hill's "trial and banishment" in 1991 and beyond. While most of the alphabetically arranged articles focus on individuals, legislation, and organizations, movements are also covered. Most entries run in the 200-to-500 word area; many include a black-and-white portrait. Volume II has an index and two appendixes. The first is a collection of documents from the women's rights movement; the second, facts and statistics dealing with women in Congress and the "gender gap" in voting. There is also a lengthy chronology of events from 1638 to 1999, a 16-page bibliography, a 5-page Webliography, and a list of "Laws Cited." Collections needing additional material on American politics will find this a useful resource.-Herman Sutter, Saint Agnes Academy, Houston, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.