Pioneering the Vote

The Untold Story of Suffragists in Utah and the West

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Pub Date 04 Aug 2020 | Archive Date 18 Aug 2020

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In 1895, Utah's leading suffragist, Emmeline B. Wells, welcomed her friends Susan B. Anthony and Reverend Anna Howard Shaw to a gathering of more than 8,000 people from around the nation at the Rocky Mountain Suffrage Convention. They were there to celebrate the suffrage movement's recent wins and strategize their next triumphs. Pioneering the Vote tells the remarkable, largely unknown story of the early suffrage victories that happened in states and territories in the American West. With the encouragement of the Eastern leaders, women from Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho came together in a unique moment of friendship and unified purpose to secure the vote for women in America. 

In 1895, Utah's leading suffragist, Emmeline B. Wells, welcomed her friends Susan B. Anthony and Reverend Anna Howard Shaw to a gathering of more than 8,000 people from around the nation at the...

Advance Praise

 "It takes courage, fearlessness and strength to stand out and stand up for what is right. Neylan has created a masterpiece highlighting untold stories of influential women of the west who did just that. The stories shared and the insight given is inspiring, enlightening and empowering." -Noelle Pikus Pace, Olympic Medalist and founder of Get My Goal

"It takes courage, fearlessness and strength to stand out and stand up for what is right. Neylan has created a masterpiece highlighting untold stories of influential women of the west who did just...

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ISBN 9781629727363
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Featured Reviews

In Pioneering the Vote, Neylan McBaine takes the reader through a very colorful history of the women of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho who fought for and won the right to vote sometimes decades before the Nineteenth Amendment. This story is wrapped around the Rocky Mountain Suffrage Convention where national leaders such as Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw met the pioneering women of the West.

Why haven’t we heard this story before? One of the reasons pointed to by the author is that the quest for suffrage in Utah was tied to the practice of polygamy which is still a subject of discomfort to many Americans in 2020. The other factor is that the nature of living and working in the Western United States in the 1800’s that runs counter to the group collective action model that is more familiar to people.

An overall very interesting book that challenges a lot of commonly held perceptions about the women’s suffrage movement and gender roles more broadly.

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Years ago when I moved from Ohio to Wyoming, I had to take a Wyoming history class in order to be certified to teach in the state. The first thing I learned was that Wyoming was the first state to give women the vote. I wasn't told that the measure had been presented as a bit of a joke or that it was later rescinded. Nor was I told that the first woman to actually cast a vote was in Utah.
This book tells the story of women fighting for suffrage in the western United States. It's a complicated and surprising tale. To clarify it, the author has chosen to center her book around a meeting arranged and held by Emmeline Wells in 1895 in Utah. Emmeline was the 6th wife in a plural marriage of a leader in the Mormon church. At this event we run into Susan B. Anthony and a number of other less famous but important supporters of female suffrage. The author takes some time out of the main story to summarize the lives of some of these women. I don't remember ever hearing Emmeline Wells' name before and she certainly does deserve the central place she has in this book.
This is an important story, one we still don't learn enough about in school. This account is sometimes repetitive, but, over-all, the author does a good job in telling it. August 26 2020 is the one hundredth anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment giving women the vote. I've thought for a number of years that August 26 should be a national holiday.

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If you love history, especially women’s history, you need to read this book! Pioneering the Vote: The Untold Story of Suffragists in Utah and the West tells the story of the fight for the women’s right to vote in western states and territories. It was fascinating learning about the unique challenges Western women faced in advocating for their rights. I would highly recommend this book, I really enjoyed it.

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Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC. The opinion expressed in this review is mine alone and may not reflect the views of the author, publisher, or distributor.

An interesting little missive!

Sometimes books about history can be doorstops, which makes them intimidating to some readers. Having a concise book about some of the driving forces behind the American West's suffrage movement is a perfect way to introduce readers to the subject, especially ones who may be new to researching the topic.

I've seen Susan B. Anthony's shawl. I've read about her and seen documentaries where she's a focal point. But the pioneer stage is one that hasn't received much attention. I think it should, having finished McBaine's account of the history.

This comes to the publishing world at a good time, too. More than ever we need to examine who receives rights and who doesn't, then examine why that is. I'm excited to get this into the hands of one of my coworkers.

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This book is absolutely fantastic. I was thrilled to see a new book by Neylan McBaine. Pioneering the vote is fascinating, riveting, and poignant; all in one read. This is one I'll return to again and again.

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Setting her narrative around the 1895 Rocky Mountain Suffrage Conference, Neylan McBaine expertly weaves the history of women's right to vote in Utah, the Mountain West, and beyond. The narrative of the 1895 conference, attended by Susan B. Anthony and Reverend Anna H. Shaw, is presented as a smooth flowing story, novel-like in its ability to capture the reader. Well defined historical glimpses both before and after 1895. Mini-biographies highlight key figures in the suffrage movement in Utah and other parts of the country.
I chose to read this as my Independence Day reading and have no regrets. Previously aware of many of the facts and players in the history of the women's vote, it surprised me how they wove together with the issues of polygamy and statehood. McBaine helps the reader see these events through the eyes of Emmeline Wells helping the reader to understand the perspective of women who lived more than 150 years ago.
This book is a must-read for anyone commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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This book was very well done in that it provides a look at women winning the vote from an angle that I personally have never seen done.
I think this was a pivotal event in USA history and I enjoy learning more about it.

I commend the Author on making these historical events come alive and opening it up for a view from a different side.

While I do not 100% agree with everything in the book, this was an educational read and I enjoyed learning a little more history.

***I received a copy of this book via Netgalley. All views expressed are my own.***

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Filled with great facts and thoroughly researched this book weaves together the facts to turn an interesting tale of a wonderful topic into a must read.

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Not everything important in the US happened east of the Mississippi, the author notes early on. Even the story of women's suffrage in Wyoming is told far too simplistically--leaving out the women of Utah because of the ties to LDS and polygamy. The author takes the 1895 Suffrage Conference as a focal point for retelling the biographies of some key figures in the movement. I didn't love the amount of imagined dialogue between the women, but some may like that style.

Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to review a digital ARC in exchange for an unbiased review

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I really liked this book's focus on the rarely told stories of the suffrage movement. In my high school Women's History course I pulled excerpts from the book to help show that women from many places in the country played a part in the movement.

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