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Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience (Society and the Sexes in the Modern World) Hardcover – 5 Mar 2004
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"From its opening pages, this long meditated book is clearly prize-winning material."
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.See all Product description
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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.