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April 10 , 2009

Belle La Follette

Progressive Era Reformer


In 1931, the New York Times hailed Belle Case La Follette as "probably the least known yet most influential of all the American women who have had to do with public affairs." A dedicated advocate for women's suffrage, peace, and other causes, she served as a key advisor to her husband, leading Progressive politician Robert La Follette. She also wielded considerable influence through her own speeches and journalism, as when she opposed racism by speaking out against the segregation of the federal government under President Woodrow Wilson.

In a concise, lively, and engaging narrative, Nancy C. Unger shows how Belle La Follette uniquely contributed to progressive reform, as well as the ways her work was typical of women – and progressives – of her time. Supported by primary documents and a robust companion website, this book introduces students of American history to an extraordinary woman and the era of Progressive reform.

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