Carry Nation -- the woman whose name is most prominently associated with prohibition and temperance -- is there, but so are other smart and intriguing women with feminist ties that went beyond temperance.
I found an article on the Schafer Library of Drug Policy's website titled "A History of Alcohol Prohibition" that makes this interesting point:
"A series of "isms" was aroused in this era : feminism, unionism, socialism, and progressivism. Prohibition absorbed elements of them all, and vice versa.
The feminist movement originated early in the 1800's. Until the 1870's, however, feminine involvement in the temperance effort was largely peripheral. The Women's Crusade of 1873 and the organization of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in 1874 marked the formal entrance of women into the temperance movement."
The same article calls Willard, " ... a lady equally committed to the principle of equality of the sexes. Temperance was to bridge the gap, she believed: Drink and tobacco are the great separatists [sic] between men and women. Once they used these things together, but woman's evolution has carried her beyond them; man will climb to the same level . . . but meanwhile ... the fact that he permits himself fleshly indulgence that he would deprecate in her, makes their planes different, giving her an instinct of revulsion."
Willard went on to expand the the conscience of the WCTU along "broader lines of social reform," as evidenced by an early statement of principle which read:
"We believe in a living wage; in an 8-hour day; in courts of conciliation and arbitration, in justice as opposed to greed in gain; in "Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men."
Under Willard's leadership, The WCTU also endorsed "a better Indian (native American) policy" and "wiser civil service reform."
Willard is just one of the women Burns introduces. Others include Mabel Walker Willebrandt, and my favorite, the colorful writer Lois Long.
The women's stories could be a production of their own. I hope Burns won't mind that I've put them together here.
Mable Walker Willebrandt