Failure Is Impossible

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In this book Lynn Sherr, ABC News’s 20/20 correspondent and co-author (with Jurate Kazickas) of SUSAN B. ANTHONY SLEPT HERE: A GUIDE TO AMERICAN WOMEN’S LANDMARKS (1994) and THE WOMAN’S CALENDAR (1971-1980), presents a well-documented collection of Susan B. Anthony’s diary entries, letters, interviews, and public addresses in Anthony’s own words, so that the reader may experience this wise, eloquent, witty, and practical champion of women’s rights at first hand.

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Anthony lived between 1820 and 1906. She fought for the abolition of slavery and led the first women’s movement in the United States. In addition to chronicling the women’s suffrage movement, her writings and public addresses deal with a broad range of issues, such as marriage, equal opportunity for women, financial independence, domestic violence, dress reform, and the abolition of slavery. Sherr has arranged selections from her prolific writings and quotes topically by chapter and chronologically within chapters, interspersing Anthony’s words with biographical commentary, contemporary news reports, and photographs and engravings of the period.

The end result is a delightful study of an immensely popular, heroic, and resilient abolitionist and suffrage leader, and a revealing portrait of nineteenth century American politics and society. From this book, young people, especially the modern generation of feminists, can gain a new appreciation of how a small group of hardworking women in the past laid the foundation for the rights that women take for granted or continue to fight to secure.

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