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Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience (Society and Sexes in the Modern World) [Hardcover]

Susan Pedersen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

5 Mar 2004 Society and Sexes in the Modern World
When British women demanded the vote in the years before the First World War, they promised to use political rights to remake their country and their world. This is the story of Eleanor Rathbone, the woman who best fulfilled that pledge. Rathbone cut her political teeth in the suffrage movement in Liverpool, spent two decades crafting social programmes for poor women and children, and was for seventeen years their advocate in the House of Commons. She also played a critical role in imperial policymaking and in the opposition to appeasement. In the last decade of her life she sought to rescue Spanish republicans and Jews threatened by Hitler's rise to power. In this important book, Susan Pedersen illuminates both the public and private sides of Rathbone's life while restoring her to her rightful place as the most sophisticated feminist thinker and most effective British woman politician of the first half of the twentieth century.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (5 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300102453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300102451
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.2 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 505,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A marvel of intelligence and historical sense...Pedersen chronicles her subject's inner self with assured empathy' -- BBC History Magazine

'Carefully researched, detailed and compelling, it places Rathbone in her social and political context...' -- Jun Purvis, The Guardian, July 10 2004

'Excellent...a biography of distinction' -- Prospect magazine

'Susan Pedersen has done an excellent job. Her portrait of Eleanor Rathbone shows an admirable woman' -- Literary Review

‘excellent...a biography of distinction’ -- Frank Field, MP, Prospect Magazine, May 2004

About the Author

Susan Pedersen is professor of history at Columbia University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is brilliant. I almost feel it should be compulsory on History / Feminist/ Social Policy lectures.
Not only does the book provide insight into Eleanors background and personality but the constraints of the society that she attempted to change.
Do I like her as a person after reading the book ? Not too sure. For me her position on votes for women was wrong , but not only was she a product of her time but also of her class.
The ambiguity that surrounds her sexuality remains unresolved in the book - but arguably that is irrelevant. The progress, changes and influence that she brought to bear on social policy and 'women's issues' is arguably second to none.
A truly remarkable woman and this book makes superb reading.
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