We are here to claim our rights as women, not only to be free, but to fight for freedom. It is our privilege, as well as our pride and our joy, to take some part in this militant movement, which, as we believe, means the regeneration of all humanity.

So said Christabel Pankhurst in a speech about suffragist rights in Britain, 100 years ago. Pankhurst, dubbed “Queen of the Mob,” was arrested time and again at the beginning of the 20th century, fighting for voting rights for women.

A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working Class Women 1890-1940 by Elizabeth Roberts. 256 pages. Wiley-Blackwell. $43.95.

The Women’s Social and Political Union was in many ways a livelier counterpart to their American sisters fighting for the same rights in the States. The Americans mostly believed in nonviolent protest and… More…