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51% #1624: Excavating The Stories Of Forgotten Women

On this week’s 51%, we spend the show with author Marie Benedict.

Marie Benedict went from lawyer to author to write historical novels inspired by women whose achievements have been overlooked or underappreciated. The New York Times bestselling author’s latest book, “Lady Clementine,” tells the story of the woman beside British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Her story is one of a partner who did not flinch through the darkness of war and who would not surrender either to expectations or to enemies. She also helped advance the women’s suffrage movement and laid the groundwork for women in key leadership and military roles. Benedict views herself as an archaeologist of sorts, excavating forgotten or unknown women and bringing them into the light to help understand the contributions they’ve made and their pertinence to modern life. Benedict says she can trace her desire to tell untold stories of accomplished women back to when she was a girl.

“Lady Clementine,” a fictionalized biography, was recently released in paperback.

August 26 marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and the National Women’s History Museum launched Women Vote, Women Win — a non-partisan initiative designed to honor the legacy of suffragists and all of the women since who have worked to secure voting rights for women. Running through the end of 2020, the initiative will explore the historical context of the 19th Amendment, the critical work that continued after its passage to ensure all women had the right to vote, and contemporary issues around voting through programming, partnerships, resources, conversations and voter engagement activities.

That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Tina Renick for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio

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