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Pretty in power

August 27, 2015

Wednesday marked the ninety-fifth anniversary of the 19th Amendment, a monumental change to the United States Constitution granting women the right to vote.  For almost a century, American women have had a voice in the political arena. To celebrate, we created a list of OSU Press titles showcasing the strength and indomitability of Pacific Northwest women. These literary ladies have spunk—and they’re ready to share it!



Yours for Liberty

Selections from Abigail Scott Duniway’s Suffrage Newspaper YoursforLiberty

Jean M. Ward and Elaine A. Maveety


She was egged. Hung in effigy. Despised for her beliefs. And yet, Abigail Scott Duniway—women’s suffrage activist and Portland newspaper editor—continually combated social injustices with tenacity and wit.


“When women’s true history shall have been written, her part in the upbuilding of this nation will astound the world.”



Remembering the Power of Words

The Life of an Oregon Activist, Legislator, and Community Leader RememberingthePowerofWords

Avel Louise Gordly with Patricia A. Schechter


The first African-American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate, Gordly was no stranger to prejudice or adversity. From her childhood in a predominately white Portland to her political career, Gordly shares her story with refreshing frankness.


“Growing up, finding my own voice was tied up with denying my voice or having it forcefully rejected ... To this day—and I am today a very experienced public speaker—preparation to speak takes a great deal of energy.”



With Grit and By Grace

Breaking Trails in Politics and Law, A Memoir WithGritandByGrace

Betty Roberts with Gail Wells


Returning to college as a 32-year-old wife and mother, Roberts made challenging convention a lifelong habit. From teacher to lawyer, state legislator, and eventually Oregon’s first female Supreme Court Justice, Roberts simply didn’t take no for an answer.


“In today’s world, every woman should be able to explore her own life, discover her own uniqueness, break her own trails, and pioneer her own destiny.”



Up the Capitol Steps

A Woman’s March to the Governorship UptheCapitolSteps

Barbara Roberts


One of only two women ever elected to the Oregon governorship, Roberts shares the complex life of a woman in power. Driven into public service by a deep passion for the rights of children with disabilities, Roberts poignantly demonstrates how professional and personal lives rarely fall into the tidy compartments we so often wish they would.


“I know from experience that women leaders are held to a different standard, a higher standard… Gender too often defines leadership. This remains an unfinished equity agenda.”



Marie Equi

Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions MarieEqui

Michael Helquist


Helquist’s highly-anticipated book introduces readers to the fiercely independent Marie Equi: activist, doctor, and one of the first well-known lesbians in Oregon. Equi lived boldly, standing by her convictions even as they cost her great personal sacrifice.


“[Marie Equi was] the most interesting woman that ever lived in this state, certainly the most fascinating, colorful, and flamboyant.”



A Hunger for High Country

One Woman’s Journey to the Wild in Yellowstone Country HungerforHighCountry

Susan Marsh


Marsh’s work chronicles her career working for the United States Forest Service. Pitted against opposing ideals in a male-dominated field, Marsh struggled to reignite passion for her work and find a place she called home.


"Like the topography she traverses, Marsh delivers a trail of personal highs and lows. Cheryl Strayed doesn’t have anything on Marsh as far as real, authentic, informed passion for the wild." --Todd Wilkinson, Jackson Hole News & Guide



Shaping the Public Good

Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest ShapingPublicGood

Sue Armitage


Much as Abigail Scott Duniway predicted, the Pacific Northwest was indeed built upon the sacrifices and choices of women. In her new book, Armitage shows the lasting impact of women upon society and culture; even before we could celebrate “National Women’s Equality Day,” women have worked quietly to assure the stability and security of their families and communities.

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