When Women Win: EMILY’s List and the Rise of Women in American Politics (Hardcover)
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The dramatic inside story of the rise of women in elected office over the past quarter-century, from the pioneering founder of three-million-member EMILY's List — one of the most influential players in today’s political landscape
In 1985, aware of the near-total absence of women in Congress, Ellen R. Malcolm launched EMILY’s List, a powerhouse political organization that seeks to ignite change by getting women elected to office. The rest is riveting history: Between 1986 — when there were only 12 Democratic women in the House and none in the Senate — and now, EMILY’s List has helped elect 19 women Senators, 11 governors, and 110 Democratic women to the House. Incorporating exclusive interviews with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Tammy Baldwin, and others, When Women Win delivers stories of some of the toughest political contests of the past three decades, including the historic victory of Barbara Mikulski as the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate in her own right; the defeat of Todd Akin (“legitimate rape”) by Claire McCaskill; and Elizabeth Warren’s dramatic win over incumbent Massachusetts senator Scott Brown. When Women Win includes Malcolm's own story — the high drama of Anita Hill’s sexual harassment testimony against Clarence Thomas and its explosive effects on women’s engagement in electoral politics; the long nights spent watching the polls after months of dogged campaigning; the heartbreaking losses and unprecedented victories — but it’s also a page-turning political saga that may well lead up to the election of the first woman president of the United States.
About the Author
ELLEN R. MALCOLM is the founder and chair of EMILY's List, one of the most successful political organizations in the country. She lives in Washington, D.C.
CRAIG UNGER, contributing editor to Vanity Fair, is the New York Times best-selling author of House of Bush, House of Saud, and Boss Rove. He lives in New York City.
"Superwoman Ellen R. Malcolm, with Craig Unger, heroically continues to beat the drum for female equality in When Women Win."
"Malcolm, the founder of EMILY’s List, delivers a lively, fast-paced history of the influential political action committee that helps elect pro-choice, Democratic women. Drawing on interviews with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, and others, she highlights the organization’s impact on elections over the past 30 years, most notably by giving selected candidates donations early in their campaigns (EMILY is an acronym for “early money is like yeast”). The book covers EMILY’s List’s evolution, since its 1985 founding, from a fund-raising organization to a “multi-pronged, full-service political operation” with three million members that has helped elect 110 Democratic women to the House and 19 to the Senate, including Warren. Malcolm also emphasizes the dramatic effect of Anita Hill’s testimony on the female electorate and the importance of women voters to the Democratic Party. The book shows that EMILY’s List’s biggest contribution may be to make women in Congress seem so familiar that voters are now far more likely to judge women on their records and character than on their gender."
"Prose as polished as a campaign speech...narrative of sweeping change for women, coming in the midst of a presidential campaign when one woman in particular could make history.".
"An inspiring portrait of a gutsy activist who produced a transformation in the political landscape."
“Women had to fight first for the vote, and then for the right to be voted for. No one but no one has been more crucial to this on-going struggle than Ellen Malcolm, and no one has more revealing stories to tell, her own plus those of women candidates in all our diversity. When Women Win will give you faith that this country might one day become a democracy.”
“Ellen Malcolm’s fascinating behind-the-scenes journey of women in politics is a must-read, sure to engage. It’s an important and richly narrated reminder to women of why, 'If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.'”
—Jessica Valenti, founder of Feministing.com and author of Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters
“It’s no wonder that three quarters of the women in Congress are Democrats. When Women Win is both a rip-roaring political tale and an inspirational blueprint—with every trade secret revealed—of how and why Democratic women have been on the rise in electoral politics for three decades.”
—Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader
“This is the inspiring, fascinating story of the most potent women’s political movement in the modern era—now 3 million members strong, built one woman at a time—that effectively broke up the “old boys club” in American politics and paved the way for the kind of grassroots fundraising that made our government more democratic.”
—Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and Chair of the Democratic National Committee