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Book description

How have American women voted in the first 100 years since the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment? How have popular understandings of women as voters both persisted and changed over time? In A Century of Votes for Women, Christina Wolbrecht and J. Kevin Corder offer an unprecedented account of women voters in American politics over the last ten decades. Bringing together new and existing data, the book provides unique insight into women's (and men's) voting behavior, and traces how women's turnout and vote choice evolved across a century of enormous transformation overall and for women in particular. Wolbrecht and Corder show that there is no such thing as 'the woman voter'; instead they reveal considerable variation in how different groups of women voted in response to changing political, social, and economic realities. The book also demonstrates how assumptions about women as voters influenced politicians, the press, and scholars.


'Christina Wolbrecht and J. Kevin Corder have provided a remarkable and fitting tribute to mark the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the United States. Their unprecedented, comprehensive, analytic overview of women's voting behavior is an indispensable resource for scholars, practitioners, and citizens interested in understanding the important and changing roles women voters have played in our elections over time.'

Susan Carroll - Rutgers University, New Jersey

'Wolbrecht and Corder offer an examination of the consequences of Women's Suffrage that fundamentally changes how we think about this question. The hallmarks of their approach to scholarship - deep and thoughtful embedding in existing literature on voting and vote choice, constant and careful engagement with context, continual and detailed and precise attention to what data of what quality were available for previous analyses - give this book the powerful counterfactuals that drive their fascinating analyzes.'

Nancy Burns - University of Michigan

'A Century of Votes for Women will be the touchstone for understanding the political history of US women and the vote for years to come. Accessible and highly readable, the book is informed by political and social history and employs the best social science data available to explore the factors that explain US women’s voting behavior across five time periods, chronicling the post-suffrage transformations of women into voters. Incorporating meaningful critiques of essentialism, gender norms, and assumptions about women, the authors decenter men’s voting behavior as a universal standard and analyze conventional explanations for women’s voting behavior that do not stand the test of time but that nonetheless persist.'

Karen Beckwith - Case Western Reserve University, Ohio

'A sturdy scholarly contribution to women’s studies and political analysis.'

Source: Kirkus Reviews

'When the Nineteenth Amendment became law, everyone, including its ardent supporters, wondered how such monumental change would play out. A Century of Votes for Women probes the historical record to give a thoughtful and interesting answer.'

'… a timely framework to evaluate the political roles that women will continue to play in 2020 and beyond.'

Kristi Anderson Source: Ms. Magazine

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  • Chapter 1 - Women at the Polls
    pp 1-26


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