Counting Women's Ballots: Female Voters from Suffrage through the New Deal

Counting Women's Ballots: Female Voters from Suffrage through the New Deal Book Reviews 1043 number of “must haves” and “might haves.” Deal, a significant percentage of women voters These issues, however, are minor, far surpassed had switched to the Democratic party. The authors address whether women were by the strengths of Tripp’s study. His is an orig - inal approach to Cobb’s life and baseball. “peripheral voters,” that is, swing voters affect - ed by particularly salient elections. They con - Randy Roberts clude the answer is “yes” in terms of turnout Purdue University but not in terms of vote choice. Also impor - West Lafayette, Indiana tant, their analysis does not support the - as doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax492 sumption that women were less loyal partisan voters than were men. In fact, their findings indicate that “women have been more similar Counting Women’s Ballots: Female Voters from to men in their electoral behavior than they Suffrage through the New Deal . By J. Kevin have been different” (p. 276). This means that Corder and Christina Wolbrecht. (New York: women’s votes did count but not just because Cambridge University Press, 2016. xiv, 316 they were women. pp. Cloth, $99.99. Paper, $29.99.) The authors’ exacting techniques and thor - ough analyses contribute decisive answers to J. Kevin Corder and Christina Wolbrecht’s long-standing questions, making this a -land superb, award-winning book provides a m - as mark book. However, its narrow focus that terly account of voting after the addition of does little more than “count” women’-s bal the Nineteenth Amendment to the Con-stitu lots by turnout and vote choice leaves crucial tion. (The book won the 2017 Victoria Schuck questions unaddressed. Institutionally, for ex - Award from the American Political Science ample, as the authors summarize in Chapter Association for the best book on women and 2, women’s voting rights were delayed in the politics.)They focus on turnout and voting United States because women were associated choices of men and women by merging e -lec with the home and family roles. Yet women’s tion returns with census information for ten association with the home is a constant in vir - states representing different geographic-al re tually all countries, and, therefore, cannot ex - gions: Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, plain cross-national variation regarding when Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mi - s women achieved enfranchisement: such as souri, Oklahoma, and Virginia. They derive 1893 in New Zealand, 1945 in France, 1971 individual-level information from their a - ggre in Switzerland, and 1920 in the United States. gated data by employing sophisticated ec - olog What is more, the United States is notable ical inference techniques. (With regret, they for being the first country to enfranchise any note that the data did not permit analysis of portion of its population without proper - ty re the West or electoral patterns by race.) quirements (white men in the mid-nineteenth By examining the presidential elections century) and the only country to confer voting from 1920 to 1936, they arrive at important rights immediately upon the emancipation of conclusions. For example, they determine that slaves (African American men in the late nine - the Nineteenth Amendment was not respon - teenthcentury). So, why was it not also the sible in a large degree to declining turnout. Al - first to extend voting rights to women? though it is true that in 1920, when women While appreciating this book as a vital - con had just achieved the right to enter the elector - tribution, the important project of expanding ate, their turnout was lower than might have its perspectives to explain the institutional and been expected. However, by the 1936 election, cross-national “how” and “why” of “what - hap “the difference between what turnout would pened” depends upon additional scholarship. have been without women and what it was Eileen McDonagh with them narrows to 12%” (pp. 256–57). Northeastern University They also conclude that while woman suffrage Boston, Massachusetts did advantage the Republican party, par - ticu larly in the Midwest, by the time of the New doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax493 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/jah/article-abstract/104/4/1043/4932670 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of American History Oxford University Press

Counting Women's Ballots: Female Voters from Suffrage through the New Deal

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Abstract

Book Reviews 1043 number of “must haves” and “might haves.” Deal, a significant percentage of women voters These issues, however, are minor, far surpassed had switched to the Democratic party. The authors address whether women were by the strengths of Tripp’s study. His is an orig - inal approach to Cobb’s life and baseball. “peripheral voters,” that is, swing voters affect - ed by particularly salient elections. They con - Randy Roberts clude the answer is “yes” in terms of turnout Purdue University but not in terms of vote choice. Also impor - West Lafayette, Indiana tant, their analysis does not support the - as doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax492 sumption that women were less loyal partisan voters than were men. In fact, their findings indicate that “women have been more similar Counting Women’s Ballots: Female Voters from to men in their electoral behavior than they Suffrage through the New Deal . By J. Kevin have been different” (p. 276). This means that Corder and Christina Wolbrecht. (New York: women’s votes did count but not just because Cambridge University Press, 2016. xiv, 316 they were women. pp. Cloth, $99.99. Paper, $29.99.) The authors’ exacting techniques and thor - ough analyses contribute decisive answers to J. Kevin Corder and Christina Wolbrecht’s long-standing questions, making this a -land superb, award-winning book provides a m - as mark book. However, its narrow focus that terly account of voting after the addition of does little more than “count” women’-s bal the Nineteenth Amendment to the Con-stitu lots by turnout and vote choice leaves crucial tion. (The book won the 2017 Victoria Schuck questions unaddressed. Institutionally, for ex - Award from the American Political Science ample, as the authors summarize in Chapter Association for the best book on women and 2, women’s voting rights were delayed in the politics.)They focus on turnout and voting United States because women were associated choices of men and women by merging e -lec with the home and family roles. Yet women’s tion returns with census information for ten association with the home is a constant in vir - states representing different geographic-al re tually all countries, and, therefore, cannot ex - gions: Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, plain cross-national variation regarding when Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mi - s women achieved enfranchisement: such as souri, Oklahoma, and Virginia. They derive 1893 in New Zealand, 1945 in France, 1971 individual-level information from their a - ggre in Switzerland, and 1920 in the United States. gated data by employing sophisticated ec - olog What is more, the United States is notable ical inference techniques. (With regret, they for being the first country to enfranchise any note that the data did not permit analysis of portion of its population without proper - ty re the West or electoral patterns by race.) quirements (white men in the mid-nineteenth By examining the presidential elections century) and the only country to confer voting from 1920 to 1936, they arrive at important rights immediately upon the emancipation of conclusions. For example, they determine that slaves (African American men in the late nine - the Nineteenth Amendment was not respon - teenthcentury). So, why was it not also the sible in a large degree to declining turnout. Al - first to extend voting rights to women? though it is true that in 1920, when women While appreciating this book as a vital - con had just achieved the right to enter the elector - tribution, the important project of expanding ate, their turnout was lower than might have its perspectives to explain the institutional and been expected. However, by the 1936 election, cross-national “how” and “why” of “what - hap “the difference between what turnout would pened” depends upon additional scholarship. have been without women and what it was Eileen McDonagh with them narrows to 12%” (pp. 256–57). Northeastern University They also conclude that while woman suffrage Boston, Massachusetts did advantage the Republican party, par - ticu larly in the Midwest, by the time of the New doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax493 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/jah/article-abstract/104/4/1043/4932670 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018

Journal

The Journal of American HistoryOxford University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2018

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