Considering that the author, who was passionate about studying, had only two weeks' formal education, this is an incredibly well written book. With hear eye for detail ear for accent and determination to improve the lot of the poor, Hannah Mitchell offers a superb commentary on the life of a working woman as well as details of her own personal endeavours in the early Labour movement and the Suffragettes.and her work on the council. It is valuable reading for those with an interest in social history, women's history, women's suffrage, the origins of the Labour Party. It is interesting to hear the viewpoint of an intelligent working woman who had to juggle her domestic duties with her commitment to educating herself and working for the social and political causes in which she believed. 4.5 stars.
The Hard Way Up is the thought-provoking autobiography of Hannah Mitchell who in spite of her upbringing valued education and fought, first for the rights of the working class and then for the rights of women. I was dismayed, although not surprised, to see how frequently the suffragettes were ignored and disregarded by the socialists - even as they had frequently fought alongside them to secure rights of the working class. Too often the majority, those with privilege, have no problem accepting the help and support of the minority and those without privilege, but when it comes to giving back and fighting for the rights of minority it is suddenly no longer of importance. The Hard Way Up is a fascinating insight into a different, but incredibly important time that laid the foundation of many of the same issues we still see today. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in history, politics or women's rights.
*I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*