Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Mar 24, 1999 - History - 560 pages
Barbara Goldsmith's portrait of suffragette Victoria Woodhull and her times was hailed by George Plimpton as "a beautifully written biography of a remarkable woman" and by Gloria Steinem as "more memorable than a dozen histories."

A highly readable combination of history and biography, Other Powers interviews the stories of some of the most colorful social, political, and religious figures of America's Victorian era with the courageous and notorious life of Victoria Woodhull--psychic, suffragette, publisher, presidential candidate, and self-confessed practitioner of free love. It is set amid the battle for women's suffrage, the Spiritualist movement that swept across the nation in the age of Radical Reconstruction following the Civil War, and the bitter fight that pitted black men against white women in the struggle for the right to vote.

Peter Gay found Other Powers "Irresistible...this is a biography guaranteed to keep the reader reading." And Gloria Steinem called it "A real-life novel of how one charismatic woman...turned women's suffrage, the church, New York City, and much of the country on its ear."


What people are saying - Write a review

OTHER POWERS: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull

User Review  - Kirkus

Spiritualist, blackmailer, newspaper editor, presidential candidate, free love enthusiast: As this terrific tome proves, history is anything but boring when Victoria Woodhull is the topic. The past ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cissa - LibraryThing

Universal suffrage! Spiritualism! Scandal! OK, rather more suffrage and scandal than Spiritualism, which was a bit of a disappointment. Still, a fascinating read of a very turbulent time in history ... Read full review


TWENTYFOUR This Girl Is a Tramp
TWENTYEIGHT Burst Like a Bombshell
THIRTYONE A Monstrous Conspiracy
THIRTYTWO Human Hyenas
THIRTYTHREE Daniel in the Lions Den

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 97 - i. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce
Page 42 - (“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”), and The
Page 181 - Think of Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung, who do not know the difference between a monarchy and a republic, who cannot read the Declaration of Independence or Webster's spelling book, making laws for.. . the daughters of Adams and Jefferson. . - women of wealth and education.
Page 346 - I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.. . - And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim that ‘resistance to tyranny is obedience to God,
Page 245 - forgiveness, and I humble myself before him as I do before my God. He would have been a better man in my circumstances than I have been. I can ask nothing except that he will remember all the other breasts that would ache. I will not plead for myself. I even wish that I were dead... HW
Page 182 - their children are torn from their arms and their brains dashed out upon the pavement; when they are objects of insult and outrage at every turn; when they are in danger of having their homes burnt down over their heads; when their children are not allowed to enter schools, then they will have an urgency to obtain the ballot equal to our own.
Page 46 - it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.
Page 46 - He stood there like an African Prince, conscious of his dignity and power, grand in his physical proportions, majestic in his wrath, as with keen wit, satire, and indignation he portrayed the bitterness of slavery, the humiliation of subjection to those who in all human virtues and capacities were inferior to himself.
Page 242 - December 30, 1870 Wearied with importunity and weakened by sickness I gave a letter implicating my friend Henry Ward Beecher under the assurances that that would remove all difficulties between me and my husband. That letter I now revoke. I was persuaded to it—almost forced—when I was in a weakened state of mind. I regret it and recall all its statements. ER
Page 181 - in fifteen states of the Union. When women, because they are women, are hunted down through the cities of New York and New Orleans; when they are dragged from their houses and hung upon

About the author (1999)

Barbara Goldsmith is a social historian and the author of Little Gloria...Happy at Last and Johnson v. Johnson. She lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information