Secondary Source

One Woman, One Vote: A PBS Documentary

One Woman, One Vote. Director: Ruth Pollak. Educational Film Center/WGBH, 1995.

Era: Post-Suffrage Era | Media: Book-Non-Fiction, Curated Photos/Ephemera, Documentary Film, Television, Video

This PBS documentary is a sweeping look at the women’s suffrage movement, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s famous Seneca Falls call to arms to the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women voting rights.

Narrated by Susan Sarandon, the documentary features historical photos and video clips of the suffrage movement, as well as a number of historians who provide needed context. The film also delves into the deep divisions within the suffrage movement, like the one over the question of whether to support voting rights for black men. In addition, the film looks at regional differences within the movement and differences over whether to use militant tactics.

The New York Times called the film “inspiring without being rhapsodic,” saying it tells viewers “as much about the exigencies of American politics as about the heroism of three generations of American women.” The National Women’s Studies Association Journal also published an informative review of the film, accessible through JSTOR. 

You can buy the film through PBS, or order it through Netflix.

There is a companion book by the same name that you can buy on Amazon. The book is an anthology of contemporary and historical writing on women’s suffrage.

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