Reviews & Media
Speaking Engagement Reviews
"Barbara’s talk was the kick-off for a day-long statewide conference and immediately focused everyone’s attention on the role of Massachusetts women as change makers. Her themes of “perseverance, patience, and pressure” resonated with the activists in the audience. As she spoke, people were riveted, either nodding in agreement or taking copious notes. Barbara’s talk was pitch-perfect and helped set the stage for the rest of the day by emphasizing the strategies that the suffragists employed, the obstacles they faced, and the value of the “long view.” Her words and her book will provide good reading for women who are engaged in making a difference today."
Meryl Kessler, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts
"Barbara Berenson is a fantastic speaker on women’s suffrage, she is engaging, enthusiastic, and remarkably knowledgeable. Her talk gave an overview of the history, spanning the antebellum period all the way to the passage of the 19th Amendment, and was able to give everyone in the room a solid foundation for understanding the long arch of the story. Also, the question and answer session was really great, in answering she was able to show the depth of her knowledge and I think that even the best informed people in the room walked away with new information."
Gavin Kleespies, Director of Programs, Massachusetts Historical Society
"Your talk last night was excellent. The audience learned a lot from it, and your presentation was very engaging. Your topic is timely, but what I found particularly interesting were the added nuances of cultural context you provided and the expansions/amendments made to the simple summary version of the suffrage movement that most of us have floating in our heads from survey history courses. Very interesting."
Harvard Club of Boston
"Barbara Berenson gave a very successful talk on Massachusetts Leadership in the Women Suffrage Movement at the Newton Free Library in June 2018. With close to 50 in attendance, Barbara gave a well-researched and expertly presented lecture. The Q and A was robust with lots of audience interest in the topic. Barbara is a stellar historian who, through careful attention to detail, enlightens those who attend her presentations in an approachable, accurate and technically detailed fashion. I highly recommend her as a public speaker."
Ellen Meyers, Director of Programs, Newton Free Library
"Berenson's presentation is well-organized and deeply researched. Her lively style and copious Power Point images clarify the complicated history of how women, women of Massachusetts in particular, fought for the right to vote. She clearly parses the political in-fighting that led to the creation of separate and sometimes opposing groups within the movement . As she draws a timeline of the progress of the franchise for women across the nation, one is shocked to learn how slowly the movement in, of all places, Massachusetts, finally achieved victory."
Ann Marie Shea, Ph.D., Worcester Women's History Project
"Thank you so much for your talk about your latest book at Regis College Lifelong Learning speakers’ series. You are such an engaging speaker, the visuals are well chosen, the content interestingly presented; it was an altogether delightful presentation. The audience has been very enthusiastic about your depth of knowledge, engaging delivery, and charming manner. We look forward to your next presentation!"
Regis College Lifelong Learning Speakers' Series
"Barbara Berenson has extensive knowledge of the American women’s suffrage movement. Not only is Barbara an extremely engaging speaker, but her talk was also inspiring and delightful. She also has an superb ability to answer questions, including ones that focus on parallels between the suffrage movement and contemporary challenges. What an important, relevant, and fascinating area of history! Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement: Revolutionary Reformers is a must-read for all!"
Melissa Nawrocki, Executive Director, Flaschner Judicial Institute
"As one of the two headliner speakers at the 2018 League of Women Voters of the Worcester Area (LWVWA) annual meeting, Bridging the Divide: Acknowledging our Past/Building Our Future, Barbara Berenson expertly described the history of the woman suffrage movement in Massachusetts from the mid-19th century until the passage of the 19th Amendment, with a particular focus on race. Ms. Berenson uplifted the work of women of color in the suffrage movement, highlighting women of color leaders such as Sarah Parker Remond, Frances Watkins Harper, and Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, and described the denial of access to women’s organizations that women of color faced due to racism. Since the League of Women Voters traces its origins to these earlier organizations, Ms. Berenson’s talk was timely and has provided the LWVWA a starting point from which to begin dialogues on the intersection of race and gender within our organization."
League of Women Voters of the Worcester Area
"Your book and your talk inspire us to keep working for women’s and all human rights.Though many of us know that we owe much to these early pioneers for suffrage, your energized way of sharing their stories makes us hopeful for continued progress. We owe much to the courageous women in our past and to the voice you give them. As a passionate author and speaker, you engage us in history and help our journey onward. Thank you Barbara!"
Laurie Rose Schloff
President, Partners in Communication
Media Appearances and Reviews