Cover image for A woman in the House and Senate : how women came to the United States Congress, broke down barriers, and changed the country
Title:
A woman in the House and Senate : how women came to the United States Congress, broke down barriers, and changed the country
ISBN:
9781419710360
Physical Description:
ix, 134 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm.
Contents:
"Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less" -- Flash and crash, 1920-1930 -- Hard times: depression, war, and the red menace, 1931-1953 -- Settling down and stirring things up, 1954-1963 -- "A change is gonna come," 1964-1979 -- The calm before the storm, 1980-1999 -- An unsettling decade, 2000-2010 -- What goes up must come down, and goes back up!.
Reading Level:
1040 L Lexile
Summary:
For the first 128 years of our countrys history, not a single woman served in the Senate or House of Representatives. All of that changed, however, in November 1916, when Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to Congress, even before the Nineteenth Amendment gave women across the United States the right to vote. Beginning with the womens suffrage movement and going all the way through the results of the 2012 election, Ilene Cooper deftly covers more than a century of U.S. history in order to highlight the influential and diverse group of female leaders who opened doors for women in politics as well as the nation as a whole. Featured women include Hattie Caraway (the first woman elected to the Senate), Patsy Mink (the first woman of color to serve in Congress), Shirley Chisholm (the first African American woman in Congress), and present day powerhouses like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. The book is filled with lively illustrations and archival photographs. It includes a glossary, index, and chart of all the women who have served in Congress.
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Summary

Summary

Ilene Cooper deftly moves through more than a century of U.S. history in order to highlight the most influential and diverse group of female leaders who opened doors for women in politics as well as in the nation as a whole. Some women featured include Margaret Chase Smith (the first woman elected to the Senate), Patsy Mink (the first woman of colour to serve in the House) and many present-day powerhouses like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. This book is illustrated with fun and lively illustrations from Elizabeth Baddley as well as archival photographs. It also includes an index, a chart of all the women who have served in Congress and appendices that define key terms and governmental procedures such as how laws are created and how political parties work.


Author Notes

Ilene Cooper has written many acclaimed children's books, including Jewish Holidays All Year Round, winner of the National Jewish Book Award and The Golden Rule.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-This volume begins with a profile of the first woman to serve in Congress, Representative Jeannette Rankin, elected in 1916. Cooper includes some background about the struggle for women's suffrage but focuses on the 20th century and organizes the book by era, comparing women's progress in Congress with their overall status in the country. She describes their gradual advancement from filling seats of dead husbands or fathers to running, winning, and leading on their own. The final chapters on the contemporary period concentrate on women who broke new barriers, such as Shirley Chisholm and Nancy Pelosi, or became nationally prominent, such as Geraldine Ferraro. Cooper celebrates the gains women have made, but explains that parity remains a distant goal. Her informal writing style includes interesting details and anecdotes about the women's struggles and triumphs. However, the book contains several errors, the most important being the author's repeated claims that vacancies in the House can be filled by appointment, when constitutionally, all House seats must be filled by election. (Senate vacancies can be filled by appointment.) The text is supplemented by photos and cartoon-style illustrations, an appendix on how the federal government operates, and a list of women who have served in Congress. Although there are many individual biographies of Congressional women, few describe the progress of women as a group, and most of those, such as Jill S. Pollack's Women on the Hill (Watts, 1996), are dated. The error regarding appointment to House seats is an unfortunate oversight; some libraries may wish to pass on this title or wait for a corrected edition. If librarians and educators can look beyond this flaw, the engaging biographical sketches and lively overview of women in American politics presented in this work may prove worthy of inclusion in some collections.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Public Schools, MO (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Horn Book Review

This is a thorough, engaging, and well-designed account of women in American politics. Each chapter covers about a decade of U.S. history, giving a snapshot of the status of women during each era. Enhanced with photos and cartoon illustrations, the lively narrative begins with a profile of Jeannette Rankin, the first congresswoman in 1917, and continues through the 2013 delegation. Reading list, websites. Bib., ind. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

It is no small task to create a book that summarizes over a century of U.S. history, gives a crash course in civics, and provides succinct, pithy biographies of numerous women who have served in the legislative and judicial branches of government. Cooper pulls it off. She sets her tone with the introduction: "Guess how many women served in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives from the first Congress in 1789 until the 65th Congress began in 1917. / 200? 100? 50? / Zero. Nada. None. / What's up with that?" Vigorous prose and well-chosen anecdotes, enhanced by elegant design, make for a continually engaging read. A double-page spread featuring a 1914 photograph of suffragists superimposed with a feisty Susan B. Anthony quotation precedes some general history of the suffrage movement, followed by short biographies of key women. Each subsequent chronological section similarly captures an era, with appropriate artwork. (Doves and flowers adorn the introduction to the 1960s). Throughout the cataloging of legislative triumphsin a spectrum of issues far beyond women's rightsthere are documented anecdotes of struggles against racism and sexism, such as the day in the 1970s when a committee chairman insisted that the sole female representative and the sole African-American representative share a chair, as their votes "were worth only half of one regular Member." Accessible, erudite, aesthetically appealing: a must-have. (foreword, appendix, endnotes, bibliography, acknowledgments, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Editor's note: It is Booklist policy that a book written or edited by a staff editor receive a brief descriptive announcement rather than a full review. Award-winning children's book author Cooper surveys more than a century of U.S. history in this wide-ranging volume that spotlights women's pivotal roles in politics. Along with profiles of female trailblazers from Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who became the first woman elected to Congress, to Hilary Clinton, Cooper folds in essential historical context for her subjects, as well as explanations of basic civics concepts. Among the images included on each heavily illustrated spread are archival photographs as well as original drawings that further highlight groundbreaking moments in American politics. Extensive, classroom-ready notes and resource lists close.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2014 Booklist