In 2004 Liberal Women was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's History Awards.
When Menzies formed the modern Liberal Party out of the squabbling rabble of the UAP in 1944, he had to cede to the women's organisations formal representation and real power. Liberal Women is the story of why. It is a tale of strong, vocal, persistent women who carried the liberal flame across Australia in the first half of the 20th century while the men split and merged, and talked and merged and split again. It is the story of women who grasped the implications of the female suffrage that followed Federation in a way that no others did: winning elections meant winning the female vote; and delivering the female vote gave political power. The Liberal women formed some of the most effective political organisations in the country. Liberal Women is the first detailed account of these women as political pioneers: as power-brokers and factional warriors, as candidates for office, and as members of parliament. Relying on extensive primary research, much of it previously unpublished, Margaret Fitzherbert describes their political organisations and activity amidst a wealth of biographical detail on women such as Enid Lyons, Elizabeth Couchman, Ivy Deakin, Lady Margaret Forrest and Irene Longman.
Margaret Fitzherbert's book is a comprehensive account of the early female key figures in the Australian Liberal (conservative) movement under its various guises. ... Fitzherbert has covered an amazingly wide area in her researches for her book. Consequently there emerges a well-knitted narrative that constantly informs and sometimes surprises. There is no doubt that by the 1940s the role of women was being better understood by our federal leaders. The role of the Liberals' Menzies and Labor's Curtin in more publicly acknowledging the political importance of women and their ideas is well told in particular by Fitzherbert. Her observations on this period deserve commendation as does her excellent reportage of the suffrage struggles in Australia. Overall, Fitzherbert's book is a noteworthy addition to the libraries of both Australian political studies and women's affairs. It is well-written, occasionally entertaining and profoundly thoughtful. - Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 92(1), June 2006
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: March 2004
Publisher: Federation Press
Country of Publication: AU
Weight (kg): 0.51
Edition Number: 1