Front Pages Front Lines, Review

Carol Quirke on Front Pages Front Lines in The Journal of American History

December 5, 2021

From The Journal of American History, December 2021, by Carol Quirke:

“. . . Women’s rights leaders understood the power of exposure, rhetoric, and the imagined communities created by ‘the news.’ As Linda Steiner observes, volume 1 of The History of Woman Suffrage (1881) had as its second chapter, “Women in Newspapers” (p. 2). Women’s rights leaders created house organs and movement papers, and provoked “news,” to enhance movement gains (p. 4). Invaluable to scholars of the women’s movement will be Linda J. Lumsden’s historiography of suffrage news. Readers also encounter multiple theoretical frameworks: framing, reception theory, intersectionality, discourse theory, masculinity studies, memory, and social movement theory. . . . Elite ‘facilitators,’ the focus of Brooke Kroeger’s essay, lie at the heart of increasingly sympathetic news coverage. News organizations tracked growing elite involvement in the movement; elite status and connections boosted attention. . . . The strength of Front Pages, Front Lines is its investigation of the diversity, countercurrents, and conflicts within the suffrage movement and its allies. . . .  Most enriching is its attention to race and racism.Front Pages, Front Lines makes an important intervention, historicizing the news and communicating media’s vital role in one of the most consequential U.S. social movements.”