Cover image for For the public record : a documentary history of the League of Women Voters
For the public record : a documentary history of the League of Women Voters
Stuhler, Barbara.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xix, 313 pages : portrait ; 24 cm.
Reading Level:
1340 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JK1881 .S78 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Through a judicious selection of documents from the papers of the League of Women Voters of the United States in the Library of Congress, Stuhler reveals the rich history of an organization designed to serve the public interest. In the aftermath of the 72-year long effort by American women to win the vote, the League was formed to prepare these new voters for their responsibilities as full participating citizens. The organization's first president, Maud Wood Park, and her associates established Citizenship Schools throughout the nation to educate women, and they were so successful that one newspaper complained, Why not for men, too?

Succeeding presidents built the League's reputation as an organization inventive in its dual roles as a voter educator and civic activist. While League members were expected to be nonpartisan, they were also encouraged to be active in their parties, a sometimes confusing posture. Nevertheless, the League--as an advocate in support of specified public policies--succeeded in maintaining an informed nonpartisanship that came to be respected by opinion and political leaders, and the public learned that it could depend upon the League for unbiased information in election contests. In making it possible for women to show their strength and do what they have done for some 80 years, the League has made incalculable contributions to the public good. Students, scholars, and the informed public interested in American political and women's history will find this documentary collection invaluable.

Author Notes

BARBARA STUHLER, prior to her retirement, was Professor and Executive Associate Dean, Continuing Education and Extension (now the College of Continuing Education) at the University of Minnesota./e From the 1950s through the 1970s, she served on the state and national boards of the League of Women Voters and served as the League's representative on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. In recent years she has devoted her energies to writing women's history and to increasing the representation of women in politics.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Tracing the history of the League of Women Voters (LWV) from the final days of the suffrage battle through the 1970s (and slightly beyond), Stuhler provides documentary evidence of the activities of a particular group of women whose focus has been the interests of women and good government. The documents suggest how women could be politically active outside electoral politics as well as which issues the LWV and other groups chose to address. A companion to In the Public Interest (CH, Jun'90), the authorized history of the LWV, Stuhler's book can help students and researchers look into issues that were of interest in various eras, from the Tennessee Valley Authority to peace. The book is less helpful as a critical examination of the LWV. Stuhler, a retired professor and former national LWV official, provides brief introductions to documents and topics to help situate them. No other comprehensive histories of the LWV exist. Therefore, even without an analytical component, this book is a useful resource for American women's public involvement. Its documents would be difficult to find elsewhere. For general and academic collections. C. A. Kanes; Bates College

Table of Contents

Women and Politics The Politics of Woman Suffrage From Jubilee to Victory
The Decisive Year Possibilities, Hopes, Dreams
The Pan-American Convention "An Every Woman's Organization"
An Experiment in Political Education Unfinished Business
The Tennessee Valley Authority The Deserving Public
The Search for Peace Two Endings and a Beginning
The Atomic Age Years of Maturity, 1950-1970