Susan Ware's Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote is a delightful, enlightening, and eminently readable set of suffrage stories. The book is a “prosopography,” or an overlapping set of nineteen biographical essays that individually make for pleasant reading but together make up a sweeping overview of the breadth of the suffrage movement. The nineteen-chapter structure is a deliberate nod to the Nineteenth Amendment, which had its centennial in 2020.

Ware has carefully chosen each activist to illuminate a larger facet of the suffrage struggle, including such wide-ranging topics as political cartooning, race work, working women's activism, antisuffragists, mountaineering, international debates, and religion. She adds another layer by opening each essay with an object or an image from Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University's Schlesinger Library’ collection. As she asserts, these material items “are especially evocative in connecting everyday lives with the broader...

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