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All Roads Lead to Power: The Appointed and Elected Paths to Public Office for US Women, Kaitlin Sidorsky

Reviewed by Jaclyn J. Kettler



The historic gains that women made in the U.S. Congress and some state offices in the 2018 midterm elections have received widespread attention. Despite this impressive increase in the number of women in elected office, women remain underrepresented in most offices. What explains and contributes to the underrepresentation of women in public office in the United States is a key question of interest to many scholars and political practitioners. However, most research focuses on elected and partisan offices, limiting our understanding of the barriers facing women in politics. In her book All Roads Lead to Power: The Appointed and Elected Paths to Public Office for US Women, Sidorsky addresses this limitation by studying women in both appointed and elected offices, with a particular focus on those in appointed positions.

Sidorsky makes the persuasive argument that studying women in appointed positions is vital for fully understanding women in politics since these offices do important policy work and are a key form of public service. Many state- and local-level public officials serve in appointed offices, so studying them may also be important for understanding candidate emergence.

To examine the path to office and the ambition of women in appoin

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