Jeannette Rankin: America's First Congresswoman (The Groundbreaker Series) Paperback – March 4, 2019
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From THE US REVIEW OF BOOKS
by Peter Aronson
Double M Books
bookreview by Michelle Jacobs
"Ibelieved then as I do now that women are the ones who must be concerned withthe needs and development of the human race."
This second book in The Groundbreaker Series formiddle-grade readers is a biography of Jeannette Rankin, America's firstcongresswoman, who was elected in 1916. Born in Montana in 1880, Rankin'spioneering spirit is evident throughout her early life on her family's ranchwhere her parents instilled strong values and then later at college where shebegins to set a course for her life that is not a traditional trajectory towardmarriage and family. Instead, she begins to seek career opportunities in socialwork and eventually becomes a leading suffrage advocate working tirelessly topush for a woman's right to vote. As a congresswoman, she solidifies a legacyof pacifism, casting a vote against entering World War I and World War II.
Rankin was recognized throughout her life for her work asa feminist and for her anti-war activism. Her life story is inspiring andrelevant for today's young readers looking for historical role models.Informative and interesting, Aronson illuminates the life of Rankin with thiswell-researched biography of her extraordinary life. Organized chronologicallyand sprinkled with black and white photographs, each stage of her life isfilled out with details of her aspirations and ambitions to impact society andgovernment. Young readers, parents, and educators can draw a direct line fromRankin's life to the current wave of female congresswomen who made history inthe 2018 midterm elections. This important book solidifies the historicalrecord in the minds of young people who may be more familiar with famousfeminist forbearers like Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Rankin's name deserves to be known and her life studiedfor the legacy she built to empower women. Her determination to have a voice inthe decisions affecting all Americans but particularly women and childrenmotivated her to run for office. In the current era of the #metoo movement andrecent possible judicial and legislative impacts on women, the life of thisimportant pioneer can serve as a model for public service and political power.Though some of her votes as the first female congresswoman were largelysymbolic, having a voice in a room full of men still reverberates through time.Aronson describes the realities of the unfortunate timing of Rankin's firstvote--a vote against entering World War I. It was not a popular vote, and it wasone she would repeat during World War II. But she held firm that she wasrepresenting the mothers of the country who would be sending husbands and sonsto fight and die. She also felt that because she could not fight in the war asa woman, it was not fair to send someone else to fight. She stood her grounddespite holding unpopular opinions about war and peace. Late in her life, shealso joined the anti-war movement during the Vietnam era.
As Aronson chronicles these periods of Rankin's life withrich detail, the story of her life leaps along with ease and superbreadability. Aronson captures the quiet ambition of one woman propelled intothe historic spotlight as she campaigns for a woman's right to vote as acitizen and as a representative.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review
About the Author
- Publisher : Double M Books (March 4, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 132 pages
- ISBN-10 : 173207755X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1732077553
- Reading level : 8 - 12 years
- Grade level : 3 - 6
- Item Weight : 6.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,995,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews: