Title: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship that Changed the World
Author: Penny Colman
Publisher: Henry Holt
Concepts: economics of gender, social justice, discrimination, property rights, jobs, wages, caring labor
Review: Even in their early years, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony understood that American society considered girls and women to be second-class citizens. As they each grew older, Elizabeth and Susan grew more frustrated with the fact that women could not claim ownership of property or the money they earned, they faced barriers at the colleges that men attended, they were denied the right to vote, and the primary aspiration assigned to them by social norms was to stay home to take care of their husbands and children. Elizabeth and Susan both realized that the most effective way to change women's inferior status and to reform the existing laws was to grant women the right to vote.
Elizabeth and Susan first met each other in the spring of 1851 in Seneca Falls, NY, soon after the first American women's rights convention 1848, also held in Seneca Falls. Convention participants had signed a document known as the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, which called for a broad range of social, economic, legal, and political reforms to improve the status of women. The demand for women's suffrage proved to be the most controversial of the proposed reforms, and Elizabeth and Susan worked the rest of their lives advocating for women's right to vote.
With its thorough background research using a variety of sources, this historical narrative provides readers with a closer look at the role that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony played in improving the lives of American women. Along the way, the book covers several important concepts in economics related to the economics of gender, discrimination, property rights, jobs, and the allocation of resources and labor within the household. Although there are numerous biographical accounts of both these women, this book is one of the few that weaves their stories together in a way that will engage with middle grade and young adult readers.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children