Editor, historian, and biographer Susan Ware, who serves as the honorary women’s suffrage centennial historian at the Radcliffe’s Institute’s Schlesinger Library at Harvard, has written a new book on the history of the movement, one that goes beyond the familiar figures associated with it. “Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote” (Belknap), out this week, looks at 19 activists from around the country, from a variety of races and backgrounds, revealing that the movement was made up of a wider and much more diverse group than is typically noted in the history books.
Ware “shifts the frame of reference . . . to highlight the women . . . who made woman suffrage happen through actions large and small, courageous and quirky, in states and communities across the nation.” It comes at a potent moment as the nation next year will see the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which deals with women’s suffrage, and a presidential election that has drawn a record number of women candidates. Ware will discuss the book on May 5 at 7 p.m. at the Harvard Book Store.