Part of the reason this book's profiled radicals Roger
Thomas Paine, a corset staymaker’s son who moved from England to the colonies as a thirty-seven year-old in 1774, faced withering criticism from his more appeasement-minded colonial colleagues (such as
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, groomed in her upbringing as daughter of a prominent judge in upstate New York to a conventional life as mother and homemaker, long endured mocking disdain from countless strangers and even her own father and husband for insisting that women were morally and legally entitled to equal treatment. Yet with her lifetime of unflinching advocacy for women’s rights - including her two singular landmark creations, the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments for the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, and the Woman’s Bible in 1896 – Stanton did more than any single person to establish the framework for eventual gender legal equality in the United States (including the “right” to vote, gained some eighteen years after her death with the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920).
Controversy followed black radical historian, scholar and agitator-prophet
And Sioux author, scholar and activist Vine Deloria, whose views on government naturally came through his own tribal traditions, antagonized the establishment while shaking mainstream America out of its complacency with his provocative works exposing the American government’s systematic centuries-long oppression of Indian tribes. Beginning with Custer Died for Your Sins, his devastating 1969 critique of the United States Government and passionate call-to-action to a new generation of Native Americans, Deloria was a central figure in providing a unifying intellectual, political voice to Indians past, present and future in their battles for self-determination and reclaiming tribal heritage. As Indian Law scholar Charles Wilkinson comments, “If you mark down the great figures of the American West in recent times, [Deloria] belongs there because of his role in reshaping Indian country…. I think in the last 100 years, he's been the most important person in Indian affairs, period.”
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