Book Review: Mother. Orator. Woman Suffrage Leader: The Feminist Legacy of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
66 Journal of Legal Education 979 (2017)
8 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2017 Last revised: 14 Nov 2017
Date Written: June 1, 2017
Tracy Thomas’s new book, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law, provides extensive support for the claim that Stanton was “the intellectual giant of the [women’s rights] movement.” In this eminently readable yet deeply substantive work, Professor Thomas argues that Stanton was a foundational theorist for modern feminism. Until recently, Stanton’s intellectual contributions have not been widely explored, and Thomas aims to rectify that oversight. She situates Stanton in her rightful place by focusing on Stanton’s writings and advocacy in the area of family law. Thomas does a persuasive job, using Stanton’s views on marital property law, divorce, voluntary and involuntary maternity, and the custody of children as a lens through which to examine broader themes about women’s status as equal citizens in our republic. She also documents Stanton’s intellectual contributions in a way that informs current debates about gender equality.
Keywords: Suffrage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Feminism, Family Law, Marital Property, Legal History, Feminist History, Inheritance Law
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