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Not Now

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988

Book Reviews

achievements and honors than it is possible to detail in this brief space.
She began as a secretary in Governor Pat M. Neff's office and later, in
1928, joined his staff on the Board of Mediation in Washington, where
she badgered the George Washington University law school into admit-
ting her as its first female student. With her degree in hand, she joined
the legal staff of the Internal Revenue Service in 1933, the only woman
among the thirty attorneys appointed that year.
Rawalt devoted her free time to organizational work for the National
Association of Women Lawyers and the National Federation of Business
and Professional Women's Clubs, eventually serving as president of
both organizations. She got the NAWL admitted to the American Bar
Association House of Delegates, and took her seat there in 1943 as the
first female delegate; she remains the only woman ever elected presi-
dent of Washington's Federal Bar Association. She worked for the Equal
Rights Amendment through the National Woman's Party and the BPW,
and her commitment to sex equality grew as she was repeatedly passed
over for federal judgeships in favor of male colleagues. Rawalt was in
her late sixties when she began to devote the bulk of her time to women's
rights: she served on John F. Kennedy's Commission on the Status of
Women and joined the National Organization for Women shortly after
its founding in 1966. She devoted the next fifteen years of her "retire-
ment" to filing employment discrimination cases for NOW and lobby-
ing for the ERA.
Unfortunately, this journalistic biography generally fails to do more
than chronicle the main events of Rawalt's fascinating life. The histori-
cal grounding is superficial and the book makes only the barest attempt
at analysis. Subjects that beg for elaboration-Rawalt's continued loy-
alty to women's clubs despite her impatience with their limited focus,
her uneasiness with the confrontational tactics of the younger and
more radical members of NOW-are touched on and passed by.
Most disappointing is the scanty documentation. Rawalt's papers,
along with those of her contemporaries, Pauli Murray and Mary East-
wood, were available to the author at the Schlesinger Library. Yet the
book has only a handful of footnotes, and there is no evidence at all of
research on Rawalt's Texas connection and her friendships with such
important women as Margie E. Neal and Sarah T. Hughes. One can
hardly help feeling cheated by such a book; instead of a full-color por-
trait, it offers only a pencil sketch.
The University of Texas at Austin JUDITH N. MCARTHUR
Dominzcan Women in Texas: From Ohio to Galveston and Beyond. By Sheila
Hackett, O.P. (Houston: D. Armstrong Company, Inc., for Sacred


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 1, 2016.

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