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Barbara Palmer and Dennis Simon are authors of Women and Congressional Elections: A Century of Change (Lynne Rienner, 2012). Palmer is associate professor of political science at Baldwin Wallace University and Dixon is professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. They have combined to write a deeply informative book about the trajectory of women in congress. The book offers many great anecdotes from the trail blazers: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (the first woman to run for congress), Margaret Chase Smith (the first woman elected to the Senate), and Shirley Chisom (the first African American woman elected to Congress). The authors also put together a new dataset of the universe of women candidates for office. What they find about where women succeed and the challenges they face after winning reveals a lot about what it means for a woman to run for office.

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