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1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened—by Elizabeth's intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoug 1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened—by Elizabeth's intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So Theophilus makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum. The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they've been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line—conveniently labeled "crazy" so their voices are ignored. No one is willing to fight for their freedom and, disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose...


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1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened—by Elizabeth's intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoug 1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened—by Elizabeth's intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So Theophilus makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum. The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they've been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line—conveniently labeled "crazy" so their voices are ignored. No one is willing to fight for their freedom and, disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose...

30 review for The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This book tells the true story of Elizabeth Packard, a mid-19th century wife and mother who fought for women's rights in America. Elizabeth Packard Historically, women in the United States had no rights. "Women....were subsumed within the legal identities of their husbands. The husband and wife are one, said the law, and that one is the husband." Thus a husband owned all his wife's possessions, could take custody of the couple's children, and had the power "to deprive [his wife] of her liberty an This book tells the true story of Elizabeth Packard, a mid-19th century wife and mother who fought for women's rights in America. Elizabeth Packard Historically, women in the United States had no rights. "Women....were subsumed within the legal identities of their husbands. The husband and wife are one, said the law, and that one is the husband." Thus a husband owned all his wife's possessions, could take custody of the couple's children, and had the power "to deprive [his wife] of her liberty and to administer chastisement." In June 1860, Illinois resident Elizabeth Packard had been married to her pastor husband Theophilus for twenty-one years. Theophilus Packard The Packards had six children, who were "the sun, moon, and stars" to Elizabeth, and she spent her days "making their world as wondrous as she could." Elizabeth Packard and her children Elizabeth's husband Theophilus was of a less gentle nature. He was an autocratic man who had at times confiscated Elizabeth's mail, refused her access to her own money (from her father), and isolated her from her friends. Elizabeth felt "the net [Theophilus] cast about her felt more like a cage than the protection marriage had promised." Things were about to get much worse though. In the bible class run by Theophilus's Presbyterian church, Elizabeth had expressed views that differed from her husband's. In Theophilus's eyes, this meant his wife was insane, and he determined to have her committed to an asylum. In 1860 a husband could have his wife committed by merely asserting she was mad and getting medical certificates from two doctors. Theophilus approached two physicians he knew, and they agreed to affirm that Elizabeth had "derangement of mind...upon religious matters." Elizabeth soon found herself in Illinois's Jacksonville Insane Asylum, over two hundred miles from her home in Manteno. The Packard family home in Manteno, Illinois Elizabeth resisted being transported to Jacksonville Insane Asylum Jacksonville Insane Asylum Jacksonville Asylum operated under the supervision of Dr. Andrew McFarland, who answered to a Board of Trustees that rubber-stamped all his decisions. Dr. Andrew McFarland As the saying goes, 'absolute power corrupts absolutely', and McFarland was a dictator who ran the institute more like a prison than a hospital. Moreover, McFarland - who had little training in the field of mental health - couldn't tell an insane person from a bunch of carrots. McFarland allowed perfectly rational women to stagnate in Jacksonville for years on the say-so of their husbands....who often had ulterior motives. When Elizabeth arrived at Jacksonville Asylum, she found McFarland to be a fine-looking gentleman with a nice manner. At first, Elizabeth thought Dr. McFarland was a charming man Elizabeth thought the doctor would realize how intelligent, well-spoken, and sane she was, and would release her immediately. This didn't happen however, and Elizabeth was incarcerated for years.....during which she sorely missed her beloved children. Elizabeth's children lament their mother's absence McFarland had theories about ingratiating himself with patients for therapeutic purposes, and he got close to Elizabeth to help 'cure' her. As a result, Elizabeth developed a complicated love/hate relationship with the doctor, which is detailed in the book. While in Jacksonville Asylum, Elizabeth observed the abusive treatment of patients, and met competent women who were incarcerated by scurrilous husbands. Dr. McFarland overseeing a recalcitrant patient's punishment Patients were routinely abused by staff Elizabeth recorded her observations in a secret journal, and wrote a book while in Jacksonville. All of these proved useful later on. Once Elizabeth was released from the asylum, she published her writings, and campaigned day and night to change America's laws. Elizabeth wanted to secure equal rights for women and get asylum reform....and a nice bonus would be to get McFarland fired. Elizabeth went door to door; spoke to legislators; implored governors; attended court; testified before the Jacksonville Board of Trustees; and more. Elizabeth published pamphlets Elizabeth published books Elizabeth met with legislators The Illinois senate debating laws about women's rights Of course Dr. McFarland, Theophilus, supervisors of asylums, profiteers associated with mental hospitals, and newspapers (run by men) fought Elizabeth tooth and nail, and the suspense of the book lies in 'who would win?' Theophilus opposed Elizabeth's campaign for reforms The story is interesting, and the topic is VERY important, but the narrative is much too detailed and over-long. Kate Moore did extensive research for the book, and she includes too much of it in the narrative. Trial transcripts, witness testimony, and the like could have been summarized with no loss of impact. Still, Elizabeth Packard was a force majeure for women's rights, and her contribution was almost forgotten until Kate Moore unearthed it. Thus, this is a very important book, highly recommended. Thanks to Netgalley, Kate Moore, and Sourcebooks for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Well I am now properly and rightly enraged. It’s seems that Kate Moore isn’t going to shy away from writing the stories of badass women that history wronged. I thought that The Radium Girls was infuriating, I had no idea how much angrier this book would make me. This is the story of Elizabeth Packard and her garbage husband who was intimidated by her intelligence so claimed she was insane and had her committed to an asylum. Only for her to discover that the asylum is just full of perfectly sane Well I am now properly and rightly enraged. It’s seems that Kate Moore isn’t going to shy away from writing the stories of badass women that history wronged. I thought that The Radium Girls was infuriating, I had no idea how much angrier this book would make me. This is the story of Elizabeth Packard and her garbage husband who was intimidated by her intelligence so claimed she was insane and had her committed to an asylum. Only for her to discover that the asylum is just full of perfectly sane women who’s husbands didn’t want to deal with them anymore. The torture and abuse these women went through was horrendous and the amount of injustices and blatant lies they were told is unfortunately not as appalling as it should be. This book embodies the whole “nasty woman” mentality and it’s brutal and incredibly empowering seeing how many times Packard was shoved down only to pick herself back up and keep trying. And yet have you ever heard of her? Probably not. The perseverance this woman had to continually keep trying to have her voice heard speaks volumes of how suppressed women have been and yet still keep screaming. I got chills, I cried, I raged, I did victory laps, this book brought out so many visceral reactions. And yet it’s another piece of history that no one knows about simply because it’s a woman’s story. The post script at the end really gut punches you with how far we think we’ve come with feminism only to realize we’re still dealing with the same struggles and same suppression she went through. This is yet another story that I want to put in everyone’s hands and will recommend relentlessly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    A million thanks to Kate Moore for bringing Elizabeth’s story to life. I was awed by Kate’s extensive research and compelling storytelling. Kate points out in her Author Note that this is a nonfiction book and that everything in it is based on careful historical research. Every line of dialogue comes from a memoir, letter, trial transcript or some other record made by someone who was present at the time. It is an incredible story. Elizabeth was a remarkable person. Her husband Theophilus felt so A million thanks to Kate Moore for bringing Elizabeth’s story to life. I was awed by Kate’s extensive research and compelling storytelling. Kate points out in her Author Note that this is a nonfiction book and that everything in it is based on careful historical research. Every line of dialogue comes from a memoir, letter, trial transcript or some other record made by someone who was present at the time. It is an incredible story. Elizabeth was a remarkable person. Her husband Theophilus felt so threatened by her independent thinking and philosophy that he conspired to have her committed, tearing her away from her beloved children. He could not cope with his independent, outspoken wife who was gaining influence so began a conspiracy theory of derangement. At the time, the law stated that women could be put in an asylum simply based on the request of the husband. As I turned the pages, I became so angry about how women were treated, their intelligence stifled, the ease in which husbands had the ability to force a woman to be locked up in an asylum based on nonsense like simply reading a novel, having sunstroke, or domestic troubles. There is a historical chart Moore includes that lists these numerous causes of insanity. The list is insanity!! The misinformation of science of the times was staggering, quackery rampant. For example, it was once believed that a woman’s insanity sprang from the position of her uterus. Moore has meticulously researched historical records. Actual documents and photos are included and as I looked at a photo of the behemoth-sized Illinois State Hospital in the early 1860’s, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sadness for the many thousands of persons placed there based on fraudulent and idiotic diagnoses of mental illness. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    To all the women who have had someone call them crazy. 4.5 stars. I stumbled across The Woman They Could Not Silence on Netgalley and immediately put in a request because I loved Kate Moore's last book, The Radium Girls. In a similar vein, her new book shines a light on an important part of women's history that has been somewhat lost to time. Moore excels at writing this kind of journalistic memoir in a way that is riveting to read and immediately connects readers to the protagonists. Despite thi To all the women who have had someone call them crazy. 4.5 stars. I stumbled across The Woman They Could Not Silence on Netgalley and immediately put in a request because I loved Kate Moore's last book, The Radium Girls. In a similar vein, her new book shines a light on an important part of women's history that has been somewhat lost to time. Moore excels at writing this kind of journalistic memoir in a way that is riveting to read and immediately connects readers to the protagonists. Despite this being a non-fiction book, it reads like fiction, bringing historical figures to light in a way that makes readers really empathize with their plight. In short, Moore knows how to ignite righteous anger at the injustices that have been, and continue to be, perpetrated against women. This story starts in Illinois in 1860 and centers around one woman, Elizabeth Packard. After 21 years of marriage and bearing 6 children with her husband Theophilus, he has Elizabeth committed to the Illinois State Insane Asylum against her will. Her crime? Questioning Theophilus' bible study teachings in the church in which he is a pastor. Pushing back against your husband, questioning religion, and being intelligent in general were all signs of mental illness in the 1860's, and as such, Theophilus has no difficulty in getting his wife locked up. Elizabeth immediately fights back against the claim that she is insane, but recognizing that such pleas will only make her look more insane, she does her best to maintain her dignity at the asylum and after her first meeting with the state hospital director, Dr. Andrew McFarland, with whom she develops a good relationship, she is sure her release will not be long in coming. Though Dr. McFarland is unable to determine the root of Elizabeth's insanity, he is convinced it is there and will be revealed in time. Due to her intelligence, she is granted special privileges at the hospital. However, despite these privileges, Elizabeth soon becomes aware of the level of abuse that is being perpetrated by hospital aides within the walls of the hospital and starts stirring up trouble with the other inmates. This results in the revoking of Elizabeth's privileges and life at the hospital soon becomes very hard for her. The rest of the novel is about Elizabeth's struggles in the asylum and her fight for freedom. Elizabeth is very intelligent and an accomplished writer, and though Dr. McFarland tries to silence her within the walls of the hospital, she is determined to record and share her story. She makes friends within the asylum and keeps a secret journal of all the abuses she witnesses. I couldn't help but compare her to Alexander Hamilton because the woman constantly wrote like she was running out of time! However, her goals are not only to record history, but to change it. Elizabeth is strategic in going about this. She knows that raging against the machine will get you nowhere in an insane asylum and so she goes about cultivating relationships and manipulating those around her, including McFarland. I found it really interesting to read about Elizabeth's experiences and progression while at the asylum. The whole system is completely unjust for so many reasons, but the two that stand are that, first, almost no proof is required to lock a woman up in an asylum. All Theophilus needed was 2 certificates of insanity from local doctors, which he was easily able to procure thanks to his influence as a man and pastor. Unmarried women are entitled to a trial before being shipped off to the asylum, but married women need only the desire of their husbands. As they are considered his property, they are not permitted any voice of their own. Many of the other women in the asylum were in the same situation as Elizabeth and had been sent there without any legal rights. Second, the whole premise of what qualifies a person as insane or cured is entirely stacked against the patients. Like I said, women could basically be committed for showing any inkling of self thought or governance. Theophilus didn't like that Elizabeth was questioning things or flouting his authority, so he quickly put an end to it. But what's really enraging is that women who push back against the diagnosis of insanity only further the diagnosis. Showing any kind of indignation at anything is basically a sign of insanity. Women were only considered cured when they would finally submit to everything: the will of the abusive attendants, their doctor, and their husbands. The injustice of the system is that it literally conspires to make you insane and then only release you at the moment when your spirit is finally irreparably broken. I say Elizabeth's progression is interesting because she somehow manages to hold on to this one thread of truth throughout the entire ordeal, the idea that 'I am not insane'. She is determined to be free and she is determined to be free under her own will, not through submission. The longer she is imprisoned, the more frenzied she becomes in her desperation to get out. She documents her experiences and ideas in a kind of manic fervour that you can't help but question if maybe she is going a little bit insane. Rather than diminish, her ideas of justice and equality of women only grow more and more ambitious to the point where she envisions women as totally equal to men and able to even hold public office, something that is quite radical in 1860 and unlikely to get you released from an insane asylum. I don't want to give away the whole book because even though it's historical, it's still a story and I did take joy from the experience of having no idea whether Elizabeth was going to succeed and to what degree. She inspired a book to be written about her, so I knew she was going to have some level of success, but it was honestly so bleak, it was hard to imagine how a woman would ever recover from either the trauma or the stigma of such an asylum. But Elizabeth is a fighter and I honestly can't imagine a woman with more spirit. She had a lot of influence on early American politics and it is a shame that her name is virtually unknown, even among the roll call of suffragettes. But such is the way of women's history and I love that we keep hearing about more and more women who have contributed greatly to our society but who's legacies have been little preserved. The author added a post script at the end of the book that I really liked. The book will make obvious the impact Elizabeth's writings and efforts had on the women's rights movement, but it also highlights how these same ideas are still present in today's society. The idea of insanity is still used today to threaten, discredit, and silence women. Men have always used the excuse of 'craziness' to belittle women. The idea that fault lies only with women is still wildly believed by many men and women, even if only subconsciously. When men don't like the ideas or actions put forth by women, it's only too easy for them to dismiss them entirely with the callously thrown away phrase "she's crazy". I think we see it used most often by men to either dismiss the actions or requests or a partner or to speak of their ex. But even women use it to describe other women, particularly in scenarios where it relates to how other women interact with men (I'm thinking of reality television here). But the idea is everywhere. Moore draws attention to its presence even at the top level of the American government when Trump once screamed at Pelosi for being wrong in the head. Powerful men still seek to silence women through the threat of insanity. For this reason, I thought this an extremely important read. A lot of the content didn't surprise me, but experiencing it through Elizabeth's eyes did help to put it into perspective. Even after all the work that Elizabeth did, Dr. McFarland is still kindly remembered by the eyes of history while Elizabeth has more or less been forgotten. This wasn't a perfect book. I thought the writing was a little simplified in the beginning, though it got much stronger as the story went on. I also thought the story could have been shortened, some parts are a little over indulgent and I fear the length may deter some readers from this. But overall, still an excellent read and I would definitely recommend!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    A million thanks to Kate Moore for bringing Elizabeth’s story to life. As with Lilac Girls, I was awed by Kate’s extensive research and compelling storytelling. Kate points out in her Author Note that this is a nonfiction book and that everything in it is based on careful historical research. Every line of dialogue comes from a memoir, letter, trial transcript or some other record made by someone who was present at the time. It is an incredible story. Elizabeth was a remarkable person. Her husban A million thanks to Kate Moore for bringing Elizabeth’s story to life. As with Lilac Girls, I was awed by Kate’s extensive research and compelling storytelling. Kate points out in her Author Note that this is a nonfiction book and that everything in it is based on careful historical research. Every line of dialogue comes from a memoir, letter, trial transcript or some other record made by someone who was present at the time. It is an incredible story. Elizabeth was a remarkable person. Her husband Theophilus felt so threatened by Elizabeth’s independent thinking and philosophy that he conspired to have her committed, tearing her away from her beloved children. He could not cope with his independent, outspoken wife who was gaining influence so began a conspiracy theory of derangement. At the time, the law stated that women could be put in an asylum simply based on the request of the husband. As I turned the pages, I became so angry about how women were treated, their intelligence stifled, the ease in which husbands had the ability to force a woman to be locked up in an asylum based on nonsense like simply reading a novel, having sunstroke, or domestic troubles. There is a historical chart Moore includes that lists these numerous causes of insanity. The list is insanity!! The misinformation of science of the times was staggering, quackery rampant. For example, it was once believed that a woman’s insanity sprang from the position of her uterus. Moore has meticulously researched historical records. Actual documents and photos are included and as I looked at a photo of the behemoth-sized Illinois State Hospital in the early 1860’s, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sadness for the many thousands of persons placed there based on fraudulent and idiotic diagnoses of mental illness.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS for an egalley in exchange for an honest review I am starting my #summerreading recommendations off with a nonfiction book. This is the story of an Illinois mother of six who was involuntarily committed to an insane asylum in 1860 by her husband and her fight to take on the American legal system. Meticulously researched and well-paced, Kate Moore had me very invested in the life of Elizabeth Packard. Publication Date 26/06/21 Goodreads review published 03/07/2 Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS for an egalley in exchange for an honest review I am starting my #summerreading recommendations off with a nonfiction book. This is the story of an Illinois mother of six who was involuntarily committed to an insane asylum in 1860 by her husband and her fight to take on the American legal system. Meticulously researched and well-paced, Kate Moore had me very invested in the life of Elizabeth Packard. Publication Date 26/06/21 Goodreads review published 03/07/21 #erinrossreads2021 #readersofinstagram #goodreads #teachersandbooks #netgalley #sourcebooks

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    The Woman They Could Not Silence is the long-awaited new book from the bestselling author of The Radium Girls and tells the dark and dramatic yet uplifting and inspirational, long-neglected story of women’s rights pioneer Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard (1816–1897), and it’s every inch as riveting and impeccably researched as its predecessor. It's a well-established fact that many of those in Victorian America who were placed into insane asylums were actually there for reasons other than having l The Woman They Could Not Silence is the long-awaited new book from the bestselling author of The Radium Girls and tells the dark and dramatic yet uplifting and inspirational, long-neglected story of women’s rights pioneer Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard (1816–1897), and it’s every inch as riveting and impeccably researched as its predecessor. It's a well-established fact that many of those in Victorian America who were placed into insane asylums were actually there for reasons other than having lost their sanity or their touch with reality, and that was certainly the case for Elizabeth Packard whose cruel, treacherous husband, Theophilus Packard, a Presbyterian minister 15 years her senior forced her into treatment. The objective of this was to put his wife back in her place but little did he know, her 3-year term at the facility would only serve to perpetuate and solidify her beliefs and actually helped fuel her enduring fight for freedom and equality for all women. This is a compelling, captivating and truly exquisite piece of narrative nonfiction by one of the best historical storytellers on the writing scene. It's beautifully written, rich in period detail and intricate from start to finish and I don't believe anyone could have done a better job at presenting this memoir of such an important and sadly overlooked woman who we all should be paying homage to for her sacrifices in order to further the civil rights of both women and those in involuntary medical facilities. Packard was one of the first to shine a light on gender-based injustices and start the ball rolling towards a more egalitarian ideal. She was an extraordinary woman far ahead of her time who courageously fought for what she truly believed regardless of the adverse situation it usually resulted in. That is true dedication and fearlessness to the cause. A scintillating, fascinating and important book and one I can't recommend highly enough.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    “Can [a woman] not even think her own thoughts, and speak her own words, unless her thoughts and expressions harmonize with those of her husband?” Taking inspiration from the #MeToo movement, Kate Moore delved into the history of women who, more often than not, have been labelled ‘crazy’ and silenced for speaking the truth. Kate wondered if there was a woman whose perseverance, despite everything that was done to discredit her, prevailed. She found Elizabeth Packard who, in 1860, was taken agai “Can [a woman] not even think her own thoughts, and speak her own words, unless her thoughts and expressions harmonize with those of her husband?” Taking inspiration from the #MeToo movement, Kate Moore delved into the history of women who, more often than not, have been labelled ‘crazy’ and silenced for speaking the truth. Kate wondered if there was a woman whose perseverance, despite everything that was done to discredit her, prevailed. She found Elizabeth Packard who, in 1860, was taken against her will to Jacksonville Insane Asylum, two hundred miles from her home, because of her “excessive application of body & mind.” The person who was responsible for this injustice was her husband of 21 years and the father of her six children. The evidence of her so called insanity? “I, though a woman, have just as good a right to my opinion, as my husband has to his.” Elizabeth, after being a dutiful wife, mother and homemaker for almost all of her adult life, heard about the women’s rights movement and gave herself permission to think for herself. She also disagreed with her preacher husband about matters of religion and, with her great intellect and her persuasive arguments, he was afraid of the consequences of her speaking her mind. This was a time when most states “had no limits on relatives’ “right of disposal” to commit their loved ones”, where an insanity trial had to take place before you were admitted to a state hospital (but not if you were a married woman) and where “married women had no legal identities of their own.” The thought of me living in 1860 terrifies me. I’m certain I too would have been institutionalised and I don’t know I would have been able to sustain the fortitude that Elizabeth displayed. Don’t think that you wouldn’t have also been at risk of such a fate, as one common cause of committal to an asylum in Elizabeth’s time was “novel reading.” In the asylum, Elizabeth met other patients, including other sane women who had been trapped there for years, similarly pathologised for their personality. The asylum served as a “storage unit for unsatisfactory wives”. She also witnessed patients being abused by the staff. Elizabeth was determined to prove that she was sane and secure her release from the asylum. She also wanted to enact change that would see her new friends also released and to protect the mentally ill from abuse. But what Elizabeth wanted more than anything was to be able to parent her children again. This is a thoroughly researched and well written account of the life of a woman I’m sad to say I had never heard of before but will certainly not forget. [image error] So in the end, this is a book about power. Who wields it. Who owns it. And the methods they use. And above all, it’s about fighting back. Content warnings include (view spoiler)[ derogatory terms used to describe mental illness and mention of death by suicide, domestic violence, eating disorders, medical abuse, mental illness, racism, slavery, suicidal ideation and suicide attempt (hide spoiler)] . Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read this book. I’m rounding up from 4.5 stars. Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com

  9. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Elizabeth Packard is not a household name, but she should be. When her selfish and cruel husband put her away in the asylum in Jacksonville, Illinois, he thought he had taken away her voice. That was just the beginning of Elizabeth's life work and dedication to women's rights. While in the asylum she realized that women like her were not protected from the whims of men who did not want women to use their minds or color outside the lines. She was motivated to get back to her six children and also Elizabeth Packard is not a household name, but she should be. When her selfish and cruel husband put her away in the asylum in Jacksonville, Illinois, he thought he had taken away her voice. That was just the beginning of Elizabeth's life work and dedication to women's rights. While in the asylum she realized that women like her were not protected from the whims of men who did not want women to use their minds or color outside the lines. She was motivated to get back to her six children and also to free the women she met inside. Her story is inspiring. While in the asylum she was at all times trying to make conditions better for those with her. She also used her gift for writing to document what she saw and experienced at the time. Later she would use that information in court to be declared sane, then to support herself and help pass laws on behalf of women who were victimized by current statutes. It is encouraging to see that there were men who stepped up to assist Elizabeth in her quest. We owe her a great debt and I hope many will read her story and know her name. Kate Moore did extensive research to write her story and if you loved The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women, you will also want to pick this one up. Thank you to Sourcebooks and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    Once again Kate Moore has given us an epic to honor a woman who suffered undeservedly, and gone down through history, virtually unknown. Elizabeth Packard, devoted wife to pastor Theophilus Packard for 21 years, and mother of their six children, was committed to an insane asylum by her husband, merely because she disagreed with him in Bible class. In 1860, men could easily commit their wives to asylums for the most innocuous reasons. Ms. Moore includes an historical chart with what was considered, Once again Kate Moore has given us an epic to honor a woman who suffered undeservedly, and gone down through history, virtually unknown. Elizabeth Packard, devoted wife to pastor Theophilus Packard for 21 years, and mother of their six children, was committed to an insane asylum by her husband, merely because she disagreed with him in Bible class. In 1860, men could easily commit their wives to asylums for the most innocuous reasons. Ms. Moore includes an historical chart with what was considered, 'causes of insanity,' such as sunstroke, reading a novel, 'domestic troubles' and such. Elizabeth was torn from her home and six children with no recourse what-so-ever. Doctors of that time were in agreement with the male, head-of-household. However, with her compelling storytelling and exhaustive research, Ms. Moore tells of Elizabeth Packard's perseverance in not only freeing herself, but changing laws for women and the mentally ill, nationwide. Many of these approximately 34 bills do not even mention her name. But she fought until her death for the rights of patients everywhere. I highly recommend this book, written in the same vane as Radium Girls, to learn of the historical battle one woman fought for all. Thank you Edelweiss, and Sourcebooks for the Advanced Readers' Copy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    Wowee! I adored this. A little known area of history (or figure of it, at least) that I think everyone should know. I was absolutely hooked. Where is my movie adaptation?! Paging Focus Features! Of course, I came to this book because of Radium Girls--which I read earlier in June and Amazon recommended this to me as soon as I finished. Kate Moore is such a brilliant narrative non-fiction writer--she really makes real people characters in their story, walks you through everything with so much tensi Wowee! I adored this. A little known area of history (or figure of it, at least) that I think everyone should know. I was absolutely hooked. Where is my movie adaptation?! Paging Focus Features! Of course, I came to this book because of Radium Girls--which I read earlier in June and Amazon recommended this to me as soon as I finished. Kate Moore is such a brilliant narrative non-fiction writer--she really makes real people characters in their story, walks you through everything with so much tension and stakes, without having to embellish history. I'm in awe of her research and notation skills. Seriously: even if you're not really a non-fiction/history reader, but you're interested in women's rights and a chapter of American history that runs parallel to the Civil War (Elizabeth was committed in 1860), read this. It reads like fiction but IT'S ALL TRUE. What I found especially chilling, and I know it's why Moore chose this subject, is how reading it I was struck by how absolutely screwed I would have been had I been born/lived in this time period. I would 100% have been locked up in asylum--I am a LOT like Elizabeth (save the religious fervor lol), and several of the other women profiled. Talkative. Opinionated. Smart. Your husband could literally commit you FOR LIFE for those things. But I don't know if I would have had Elizabeth's strength and fortitude. I won't spoil all the twists and turns--though it is history--because I went in knowing very little, and I think it benefits the reading experience. But this book has everything! A strong heroine at its center. A villainous husband. An asylum doctor with two faces. Romance... kind of! (but not really) Exposing abuse. Shedding a chilling light on both how far we have come and how far we have NOT come in 150 years. I thought about Britney Spears once or twice while reading--how easy it is to call a person (especially a woman) "crazy" and take away her rights. A must read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Grigsby

    A woman committed to an asylum by a husband who hated her. This was an all too common scenario when Elizabeth Packard was committed to the Illinois State Hospital for the Insane. She successfully fought and fought for her rights and the rights of all women. This non fiction about her is superbly written by Kate Moore, the author of Radium Girls.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Fascinating character! Entirely too long. I also felt there were so many quotation marks it became extremely distracting. I started envisioning a Saturday Night Live character telling the story and constantly using air quotes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    tpixie

    This is an amazing story about a Courageous and Remarkable Woman. She dedicated her life to help women who were unjustly sent to insane asylums and to fight for women’s rights. We all have her to thank for helping to pave the way for Women’s Rights!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barbara (The Bibliophage)

    Originally published on my book blog, TheBibliophage.com. Elizabeth Packard is the subject of Kate Moore’s new book, The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear. But I’ll venture to guess you’ve never heard of Mrs. Packard. Although her story is quite dramatic, you won’t find her in history books. And, if her husband Theophilus had anything to say about it, she would have lived out her days in an asylum for the insane. Originally published on my book blog, TheBibliophage.com. Elizabeth Packard is the subject of Kate Moore’s new book, The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear. But I’ll venture to guess you’ve never heard of Mrs. Packard. Although her story is quite dramatic, you won’t find her in history books. And, if her husband Theophilus had anything to say about it, she would have lived out her days in an asylum for the insane. Yet, she was quite sane. The Packards lived in 19th century midwestern America, and the events of Moore’s book begin just as rumblings of the Civil War start. Their home is also a civil war of sorts, with Elizabeth supporting abolition and her pastor husband opposing. Mrs. Packard spent most of her life birthing and raising six children, keeping house, and being the dutiful pastor’s wife. Then Theophilus moved his church from one doctrine to another, more conservative one. And Mrs. Packard objected. Publicly. Mr. Packard reacted by packing her off to the asylum. He needed just two amenable doctors to “certify” his wife as insane. And off she goes to Jacksonville, Illinois’ State Hospital, run by Dr. Andrew McFarland. Calling him a misogynistic enabler of vindictive husbands is an understatement. So, Elizabeth fights while stuck in her corner of this triangle. As best she can, she creates a place for herself in the asylum. Initially, she makes some friends among both patients and staff. She even connects with McFarland. And then things go south, and she ups her game and fights even harder to get out of the hospital. Because it’s not just her life, but the lives of the many other unjustly incarcerated wives that depend on her ability to escape with her mind intact. My conclusions Moore tells readers right up front that she chose Mrs. Packard’s story because she gets out from under this unjust commitment. So, there’s no spoiler in saying that here. And it takes hundreds of pages with extensive details to explain how she breaks these bonds. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just complicated. Moore combines social history with biography. This is much more than just Elizabeth’s story. It’s the story of all women in that male-centric society. And it’s about a politically divided country, which only adds to the divisions in place between men and women. Moore connects these various stories well and uses events of the day as a foil for Packard’s complex journey to freedom. But at the heart of the story is one strong woman who took stock of her own situation. Then she determined to help all the other female patients in asylums across the country. She could’ve just taken the abuse from her husband, McFarland, and the staff. Instead, she fought back with her words, both verbal and written. She found a way when the situation seemed hopeless. As inspiring as this is, there are places in the book where the story drags a bit. The machinations of the legal and mental health system in that era move slowly. Still, it’s worth persisting because Elizabeth Packard is remarkable. And Kate Moore does a stellar job telling her story. Pair this with a feminist book set in current day. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger from Rebecca Traister came to mind many times as I was reading. Or my perennial recommendation of either of Kate Manne’s two excellent books, Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny or Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women. Acknowledgements Many thanks to NetGalley, Sourcebooks, and the author for a digital advanced reader’s copy in exchange for this honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Judith von Kirchbach

    “From the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Radium Girls comes another dark and dramatic but ultimately uplifting tale of a forgotten woman hero whose inspirational journey sparked lasting change for women's rights and exposed injustices that still resonate today.” It was a fascinating listen - I was humbled by the fact that I had not known about Elizabeth Packard before reading about this book and I saw quite a few parallels to @chrisbohjalian newest bo “From the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Radium Girls comes another dark and dramatic but ultimately uplifting tale of a forgotten woman hero whose inspirational journey sparked lasting change for women's rights and exposed injustices that still resonate today.” It was a fascinating listen - I was humbled by the fact that I had not known about Elizabeth Packard before reading about this book and I saw quite a few parallels to @chrisbohjalian newest book “Hour Of The Witch” set in 1662, this one is a nonfiction set two hundred years later and nobody is accusing Elizabeth Packard of witchcraft but since her religious views diverge from her husband’s she is sent to an insane asylum and committed. This is a well-researched, eye opening and powerful book about a woman who fought for justice and human rights against the prejudice and discrimination that faced women in the eyes of the law, society and politics. Elizabeth Packard’s name needs to be remembered for her life, legacy and the countless lives she saved and this book is a beautiful portrait that recognises and celebrates her journey. Narration by the author and it definitely kept me engaged and listening ! Absolutely fascinating !

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lani

    Astonishing book about an astonishing woman. I chose this one because I have long had a fascination with asylums. I confess, I did not know about Elizabeth Packard at all, although I am very familiar with her time period. She was not only very intelligent, she was full of moxie in a time when it wasn't appreciated, but was desperately needed. Yes, it's a long book, but in order to comprehend the strides Elizabeth made, you have to explore the situations which got her to the asylum as well as what Astonishing book about an astonishing woman. I chose this one because I have long had a fascination with asylums. I confess, I did not know about Elizabeth Packard at all, although I am very familiar with her time period. She was not only very intelligent, she was full of moxie in a time when it wasn't appreciated, but was desperately needed. Yes, it's a long book, but in order to comprehend the strides Elizabeth made, you have to explore the situations which got her to the asylum as well as what happened to her while she was there. Elizabeth turned a fight for her life and sanity into a fight for all women's rights and she did not give up. Honestly, we probably have her to thank that more than half of us aren't in an asylum right now due to our "novel reading!" Really fascinating read and stay in it for the Post Script as well. I listened to this on audio and it is narrated by the author herself. I think she did a fabulous job and the way she presents this book vocally is the reason I stayed with it for the long haul of 15 hours. One of the best nonfiction books I have read this year. Highly recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura Hoffman Brauman

    4.5 stars. In 1860, Elizabeth Packard was placed in an asylum in Jacksonville, IL because her husband said she was insane. That was really all it took. As a married woman at the time, she had absolutely no legal rights and could be committed with no legal recourse. Her admitting paperwork refers to her "excessive application of body and mind" and her "strong will". Her religious beliefs and her political beliefs had diverged from her husband - a Presbyterian minister and her determination to spe 4.5 stars. In 1860, Elizabeth Packard was placed in an asylum in Jacksonville, IL because her husband said she was insane. That was really all it took. As a married woman at the time, she had absolutely no legal rights and could be committed with no legal recourse. Her admitting paperwork refers to her "excessive application of body and mind" and her "strong will". Her religious beliefs and her political beliefs had diverged from her husband - a Presbyterian minister and her determination to speak her mind and follow her own conscience led to an increase in conflict and ultimately his determination to have her locked away, despite the fact that she was a devoted mother to their 6 children. Her fight for freedom and justice, for both herself and for the many other women she met who were imprisoned for exactly the same reason, was the foundation for the rest of her life. Her work led to fundamental legal changes in women's rights and in the mental health care field, yet we (or at least I) knew nothing about her. Kate Moore, author of Radium Girls, has once again shown a light on women in history whose stories have not been told. Excellent read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    The chilling story of Elizabeth Packard, American housewife and mother, who dared to voice her own opinions about religion, thus incurring the wrath of her husband who had her committed to an asylum for the insane, the Illinois State Hospital, where she was incarcerated against her will, an experience that was as devastating as you might imagine. Conditions were appalling, the treatment of the women abysmal, and not one of them had any rights. But Elizabeth refused to be silenced. She fought bac The chilling story of Elizabeth Packard, American housewife and mother, who dared to voice her own opinions about religion, thus incurring the wrath of her husband who had her committed to an asylum for the insane, the Illinois State Hospital, where she was incarcerated against her will, an experience that was as devastating as you might imagine. Conditions were appalling, the treatment of the women abysmal, and not one of them had any rights. But Elizabeth refused to be silenced. She fought back with any means at her disposal against this barbaric practice of legally locking women up sometimes for simply being inconvenient or just not the docile creatures their menfolk wanted them to be. She didn’t want any other woman to suffer like she had. This is narrative non-fiction at its best. The book is wonderfully, indeed grippingly written, meticulously researched, and historically accurate. A truly compelling and often even nerve-wracking read. Excellent.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks for sharing this upcoming fiction title by the author of The Radium Girls. Elizabeth Packard, the woman they could not silence, was new to me. She obviously never got the lasting name recognition of an Elizabeth Cady Stanton but her actions were equally important. Unjustifiably sent to and kept at an asylum through the complicity and duplicitousness of her husband and the asylum administrator, Packard refused to give in to despair or censor her belief in her i Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks for sharing this upcoming fiction title by the author of The Radium Girls. Elizabeth Packard, the woman they could not silence, was new to me. She obviously never got the lasting name recognition of an Elizabeth Cady Stanton but her actions were equally important. Unjustifiably sent to and kept at an asylum through the complicity and duplicitousness of her husband and the asylum administrator, Packard refused to give in to despair or censor her belief in her intelligence and sanity. She fought for agency for herself and both women and mental health patients and was ultimately successful. Like The Radium Girls, the tale is horrific in parts and enraging all the way through. I highly recommend this for anyone who likes nonfiction, anyone who is interested in women’s history, or who enjoyed The Radium Girls.

  21. 5 out of 5

    KarenK2

    I received this from Netgalley.com. A fictionalized account of Elizabeth Packard. We hear some of her thoughts as they are spoken through her letters and journals. Incredible story. 3.5☆

  22. 5 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    An incredible and profoundly moving narrative nonfiction account of Elizabeth Packard's fight for women's rights and mental health care in mid-19th century America. I knew women were essentially the property of their husbands and subject to their control but hearing about how Elizabeth Packard was sent to an insane asylum in 1860 simply because her husband thought she was too outspoken and claimed her to be insane was unbelievable. Even worse than her husband's treatment was the way Dr. Andrew M An incredible and profoundly moving narrative nonfiction account of Elizabeth Packard's fight for women's rights and mental health care in mid-19th century America. I knew women were essentially the property of their husbands and subject to their control but hearing about how Elizabeth Packard was sent to an insane asylum in 1860 simply because her husband thought she was too outspoken and claimed her to be insane was unbelievable. Even worse than her husband's treatment was the way Dr. Andrew McFarland ran the Illinois Insane Asylum. The sad thing is she was not an unusual example, what made her stand out though was that she fought back. She kept secret journals about the conditions and treatment of the other women, many who were as sane as her and later fought in the courts to change laws regarding the institutionalization of women and to get Dr. Andrew McFarland removed from his position. Kate Moore did an amazing job using first hand accounts written by Packard herself to tell this story that history has largely forgotten. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advance listening copy of this great book! Favorite quotes: "In reality doctors were policing women who stepped outside society's strictly defined gender spheres - work and intellect for men, home and children for women...one common cause of committal during Elizabeth's time was novel reading. Doctors believed that those who indulged in this pernicious habit lived a dreamy kind of existence so nearly allied to insanity that the slightest exciting cause was sufficient to derange." "Women were sent to asylums for causing the greatest annoyances to their families or for defying all domestic control. The asylum was in short, a storage unit for unsatisfactory wives." "Wronged women were not supposed to stand up for themselves or come out fighting or be angry or battle for injustice to be overturned. Elizabeth's cause was unnatural in his eyes and therefore insane." "Ahead of her time she challenged a patriarchal system and a doctor dominated world. She did it all alone bolstered only by the belief that she was right in a world that continually told her she was wrong. She fought every day of her life to make things better, dedicating her life to others, wanting justice for all. She was torn down for it, her reputation ravaged, yet she squared her shoulders and dusted herself off after every single setback."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Virginia McGee Butler

    After reading Kate Moore’s The Radium Girls, I knew to jump at the chance offered by Net Galley to read an ARC of her new book The Woman They Could Not Silence. As she did in the earlier book, Kate Moore researched endlessly to get a factual presentation of a life that would not be believable if it had been fiction. Then she turned around and wrote a true story that reads like a compelling novel. Running along as a background current behind Elizabeth Packard’s story as she begins in 1860 is Amer After reading Kate Moore’s The Radium Girls, I knew to jump at the chance offered by Net Galley to read an ARC of her new book The Woman They Could Not Silence. As she did in the earlier book, Kate Moore researched endlessly to get a factual presentation of a life that would not be believable if it had been fiction. Then she turned around and wrote a true story that reads like a compelling novel. Running along as a background current behind Elizabeth Packard’s story as she begins in 1860 is American history before, during, and after the Civil War. Smart, independent, and a thinker, Elizabeth Packard becomes a threat to her husband. Because he can in this day and time, he has her committed to an insane asylum. He is a pastor. They have been married for twenty-one years. They have six children still at home. None of this matters. Andrew McFarland, the director of the insane asylum, puts on a front of friendship to Elizabeth, even as she begins to see that more than one sane person has been assigned erroneously to his care. Many women have been placed there and labelled “crazy” because they failed to fall in line with whatever their husbands demanded. Conditions are deplorable and caregivers brutal. Elizabeth, with unflagging spirit, comes to rely on her writing to cope. She finds creative places to hide her work for the time that will come when she can use it, not only for herself but for the other women she comes to care for. That time is slow in coming, but when it does, she is ready. Kate Moore’s absorbing narrative recounts a woman who refused to be silent, and eventually changed laws in state after state so that men could no longer confiscate property women brought into marriage, did not automatically get custody of any children in case of divorce, and could not label wives as “crazy” and send them to an asylum on a whim. As the book pulls you in, be prepared for disbelief that this account could have happened only a century and a half ago, but then look at the extensive research Kate includes in her back matter.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I was a huge fan of Kate Moore’s book “The Radium Girls” when it came out, and it’s been one of those rare books that has really stuck with me for a long time. I wondered if Moore would be able to come up with another worthy subject after the fascinating women in her first book. Luckily, Moore is as skilled with picking a subject as she is crafting a captivating and meaningful nonfiction tome. “The Woman They Could Not Silence” follows the life of Elizabeth Packard, a woman in the 1860s who was i I was a huge fan of Kate Moore’s book “The Radium Girls” when it came out, and it’s been one of those rare books that has really stuck with me for a long time. I wondered if Moore would be able to come up with another worthy subject after the fascinating women in her first book. Luckily, Moore is as skilled with picking a subject as she is crafting a captivating and meaningful nonfiction tome. “The Woman They Could Not Silence” follows the life of Elizabeth Packard, a woman in the 1860s who was imprisoned in an asylum for basically disagreeing with her husband. This insanely bright and compassionate woman was punished for being intellectual and outspoken (and daring to have a mind of her own). It’s crazy to think that women had zero rights not so long ago in our history – women could have been committed indefinitely for ‘novel reading’ (I sure would have been in trouble!) Moore does a wonderful job including enough history so that the reader understands the context of Packard’s life and the time period without getting bogged down in fact after fact. Packard’s story is truly a remarkable one – the obstacles she faces and how she works to overcome her circumstances are both inspirational and impressive. I won’t go into detail about what Packard was able to accomplish since the reader doesn’t immediately know what her fate will be. But I will say that it’s unfortunate that Packard is not taught about in school as a valued crusader for the rights of mentally ill individuals and women. I can’t find any faults in Moore’s storytelling – the pacing is quick, dramatic, and attention-grabbing. There were even a few moments where I actually gasped out loud at what was taking place in Packard’s journey. Like Packard herself, I hope Moore is appreciated for her immense talent and incredible brain. *Free ARC provided by Netgalley and Source Books in exchange for an honest review*

  25. 5 out of 5

    Summer Reads

    “There’s no more powerful way to silence someone than to call them crazy.” -Holly Bourne Back in 1860, Elizabeth Packard a loving mother and wife of 6 children, was ripped from her life and taken away to a mental asylum all because she disagreed with her husband's views and opinions. Elizabeth ended up being wrongfully incarcerated for years in the Illinois State Hospital for the insane. During her time in the hospital, Elizabeth observed that many women in the hospital were not insane but inste “There’s no more powerful way to silence someone than to call them crazy.” -Holly Bourne Back in 1860, Elizabeth Packard a loving mother and wife of 6 children, was ripped from her life and taken away to a mental asylum all because she disagreed with her husband's views and opinions. Elizabeth ended up being wrongfully incarcerated for years in the Illinois State Hospital for the insane. During her time in the hospital, Elizabeth observed that many women in the hospital were not insane but instead they were forced there by their husbands just like her. Elizabeth also observed abusive treatment to these women by hospital staff. After years of wrongful incarceration, Elizabeth fought back. She published books, pamphlets, met with government officials to spread awareness and stop the abuse of these women. Day and night she fought for the rights of these women. Opposed were her husband Theophilus who admitted her to the hospital based on lies, the mental asylums doctor Andrew Mcfarland, as well as newspapers and groups of men who profited from the hospital. The big question is who will win? Wow. I was absolutely blown away by this book. Elizabeth Packard was such an important force to the women's rights movement! I can't believe that her story is not more well known to the public. Kate Moore did a phenomenal job writing and extensively researching this important event in history.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    This was both more than I was anticipating and WAY better as well. I didn't know much about what the story was about, but I now wish the story had actually been longer - what an amazing woman Elizabeth Packard was. I cannot even imagine living what she went through and then going on and fighting for the rights of herself and the women that were left behind in the insane asylum, despite all the opposition that constantly battered her from every side [including initially from her children whom her This was both more than I was anticipating and WAY better as well. I didn't know much about what the story was about, but I now wish the story had actually been longer - what an amazing woman Elizabeth Packard was. I cannot even imagine living what she went through and then going on and fighting for the rights of herself and the women that were left behind in the insane asylum, despite all the opposition that constantly battered her from every side [including initially from her children whom her husband had poisoned them against her - that part of the story is particularly sad and infuriating], including the man who controlled her in the asylum [and what a piece of work HE was] and her worthless, craptastic, husband [ do not E V E N get me started on what a jerk this man was, no matter what time frame this was in. NO man should be as crappy as he was to both his wife AND his children. Even at the end, he was a complete jerk and the issues the children had [especially Libby] over the years lie directly at his feet. This is a must-read book for anyone who is interested in the fight for women's rights and to read one where the woman, for once, won - though it is up to the reader to decide if the fight and results were worth it [for the record, I, for one, think they were]. Thank you to NetGalley, Kate Moore, and SOURCEBOOKS (non-fiction), for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. ** I listened to the audiobook and initially the narration bothered me, but the author's voice grew on me and by the end, I was very happy to listen to her tell the story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    This book should be required reading for every person of good conscience.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marian

    Wow. I had no idea- or perhaps only very fuzzy ones- about how little freedom American women had, as recently as the 1860s. Elizabeth’s Packard’s story is compelling and horrifying and mostly inspiring. The compelling is due to the author- this non-fiction work reads almost like a thriller; the horrifying is in the circumstances EP endured. The inspiring is in her perseverance and single mindedness in working to change her own situation and those of so many others, while maintaining compassion a Wow. I had no idea- or perhaps only very fuzzy ones- about how little freedom American women had, as recently as the 1860s. Elizabeth’s Packard’s story is compelling and horrifying and mostly inspiring. The compelling is due to the author- this non-fiction work reads almost like a thriller; the horrifying is in the circumstances EP endured. The inspiring is in her perseverance and single mindedness in working to change her own situation and those of so many others, while maintaining compassion and her own humanity throughout.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anne Flock

    Great book!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    Another eye opener by Kate Moore. I thought I understood the control men have historically had over women but I definitely did not comprehend the extent of it until reading this book. She looks at the issue through a modern lens (specifically in the epilogue) as well as a historical one. Highly recommend this one.

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