The Suffragist Playbook | Your Guide to Changing the World | Lucinda Robb | Rebecca Boggs Roberts


The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World by Lucinda Robb & Rebecca Boggs Roberts

Candlewick Press, 2020, 160 pages

About the Author: “Lucinda Robb’s book for young adults, “The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World” (Candlewick), co-written with Rebecca Boggs Roberts, is described as a “unique melding of seminal history and smart tactics.” Lucinda Robb is the granddaughter of President Lyndon Johnson and the founder of KidsGiving, an organization she created to encourage philanthropy in kids. She is a dedicated nonprofit volunteer, National Archives Foundation board member and a wife and mother of three children.” (Bio taken from the Library of Congress.) 

About the Author: “Rebecca Boggs Roberts has been many things including, but not limited to, journalist, producer, tour guide, forensic anthropologist, event planner, political consultant, jazz singer, and radio talk show host. Currently, she is Curator of Programming for Planet Word, a museum set to open in 2020. She looks forward to creating a new institution that will become part of the intellectual and cultural life of our capitol city. Roberts lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, three sons, and a big fat dog.” (Bio taken from author’s website.)


Before you can change the world, you have to start by telling your story. You can’t wait to be invited; you have to be brave and put yourself out there. Make your stories personal so that you can connect with your audience. Be prepared for things to get exaggerated along the way (which they will). That doesn’t mean your story is over, so keep talking.” 

Most of us have probably heard of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the often glossed-over and extremely whitewashed high school history lessons on women’s suffrage. The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World offers  a brief history of women’s suffrage through the work of not only the relatively well-known  white suffragists, but also powerful women of color like Sojourner Truth. A century in the future, this glimpse into the past  shows the long, hard battle they fought against misogyny and the patriarchy. By showcasing  what happened beyond the marches and picketing, Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts accentuate the fact that suffragists wrote articles, raised money, went on hunger strikes, and spoke out against their family members to achieve their goals: the rights of women to vote and have personal freedom outside of the bounds of marriage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

Robb and Roberts highlight not only historical moments of victory, but also the darker elements of innate racism among prominent white suffragists and instances of extreme violence against picketers. Through brief glimpses into the lives of suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Lucy Stone, and several more, the steps required for activism fall into simple categories: like telling your story, making it personal, setting a goal you wish to achieve, and never giving up until you get your point across. The engaging narratives of Robb and Roberts, whose families have been friends for several generations, as well as the combination of historical fact and actual suffragist tactics exemplify how to be an empowered activist and ally today. 

(Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)

PRR Writer, Machaela Raney 

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