Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Iris Noble’s Susan B. Anthony chronicles the fascinating historical battles fought by Anthony, a nineteenth century human rights advocate. She was perhaps the first “liberated” woman and women’s rights activist, but she fought for all oppressed people, including African Americans. Nevertheless, it was her campaign for women’s suffrage that earned for her an important place in American history.

Noble explains how Anthony’s Quaker parents reared her to believe that women were entitled to the same rights and privileges as men. Thus, her entire life was devoted to organizing women to be a force for legislation and to gaining voting rights, and other equal rights, for women. Ironically, it was not until 1920, fourteen years after Anthony’s death, that President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill that became the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The document stated that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” This was the cause to which Anthony had given all the energies of her life. She never married because she did not have time for a social life: There were too many things to be done, speeches to give, and visits to make to legislators.

The book examines the relationship between Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton was a dear friend of Anthony and believed as she did in the cause of equal rights for all. They...

(The entire section is 568 words.)