Claiming Her Place in Congress

Women from American Political Families as Legislators


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About the Book

The fall of 2018 saw an unprecedented number of women elected to Congress, changing estimates of how long it might take to achieve equal representation. For the first time, women candidates used techniques honed by America’s political families, which have helped women enter politics since 1916. Drawing on extensive research and conversations with successful women politicians, this book offers a history of the political opportunities provided through familial connections. Family networks have a long history of enabling women to run for political office. There is much for the latest group of candidates to emulate.

About the Author(s)

Katherine H. Adams is a professor emerita of the Department of English at Loyola University New Orleans.

Bibliographic Details

Katherine H. Adams
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 246
Bibliographic Info: 18 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7718-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3717-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
One—Forging Their Own Political Family: The Sisters
Satan, Woodhull and Claflin 11
Two—Brothers and Sisters: Jeannette Rankin, Her Brother Wellington and Women Candidates Before 1920 31
Three—“Over His Dead Body”: Widow’s Succession as Family Connection 51
Four—Husbands and Wives 81
Five—Elizabeth Dole and Hillary Clinton: Two Wild Cases 98
Six—Family Members in Generations 126
Seven—The Development of the Connected Politician 145
Eight—What Family Members Have Achieved 168
Conclusion 180
Appendix: Widows and Other Members of Political Families, in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House to the 115th Congress (2017–2019) 189
Chapter Notes 194
Bibliography 214
Index 235