’s new book, All Roads Lead to Power: The Appointed and Elected Paths to Public Office for US Women
(University Press of Kansas, 2019), is an extremely well written and important analysis of women in public life and public service. This book combines qualitative and quantitative research to examine appointed and elected state positions, particularly in regard to gender, and concludes that there are quite a few women in appointed positions, an area not usually the focus of research and analysis of women and power. Sidorsky notes that women in appointed positions on boards and commissions at the state and local level see themselves not in political positions but instead working in capacities to accomplish goals, serve the public, and continue along their career paths. In the way many of these women conceptualize their work in these positions, this is not necessarily about political ambition, as Sidorsky’s research discovers, but because this public work is usually connected to the individual office holder’s personal or professional life. This research will be of particular interest to those who study women and politics, political representation, and questions of politics and power. This is an excellent study and analysis, enlightening in both the data compiled and the assessment of the data within our understanding of appointed and elected positions, politics, and power.
Lilly J. Goren is Professor of Political Science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics
(University Press of Kentucky, 2012). You can follow her on twitter @gorenlj