Barbara Goldsmith's portrait of suffragette Victoria Woodhull and her times was hailed by George Plimpton as "a beautifully written biography of a remarkable woman" and by Gloria Steinem as "more memorable than a dozen histories."
A highly listenable combination of history and biography, Other Powers interviews the stories of some of the most colorful social, political, and religious figures of America's Victorian era with the courageous and notorious life of Victoria Woodhull - psychic, suffragette, publisher, presidential candidate, and self-confessed practitioner of free love. It is set amid the battle for women's suffrage, the Spiritualist movement that swept across the nation in the age of Radical Reconstruction following the Civil War, and the bitter fight that pitted black men against white women in the struggle for the right to vote.
Peter Gay found Other Powers "Irresistible...this is a biography guaranteed to keep the reader reading." And Gloria Steinem called it "A real-life novel of how one charismatic woman...turned women's suffrage, the church, New York City, and much of the country on its ear."
©1998 Barbara Goldsmith (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This book ranks close to the top.
The historical density explored in the Victoria Woodhull book is enough to satisfy any historian interested in suffrage, spiritualism, and the backstory to industrial barons, prostitution, religious ferocity, and hypocrisy that was the mid 19th century in America.
As a female, Daly's oration keeps the listener engaged from a woman's point of view.
This book is the story of what is just one knot of the tangled web of the history of America in the mid-nineteenth century. Its main focus is on Victoria Woodhull, a self-proclaimed spiritualist (and so much more) who was the first woman to run for President of the United States, long before women even had the right to vote.
But Victoria Woodhull was involved in so much stuff during her life that it also picks up at least half a dozen other stories involving many of the most famous and infamous characters in the history of that period including three presidents, several preachers, newspapermen (both publishers and editors – Victoria Woodhull published her own newspaper for a while), railroad tycoons, and leaders of the women’s suffrage movement.
An able unraveling of the historical knot, as far as it can be unraveled. Ably narrated by Margaret Daly as well.
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