*A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Editor's Choice Pick*
From an award-winning journalist covering gender and politics comes an inside look at the female candidates fighting back and winning elections in the crucial 2018 midterms.
After November 8, 2016, first came the sadness; then came the rage, the activism, and the protests; and, finally, for thousands of women, the next step was to run for office—many of them for the first time. More women campaigned for local or national office in the 2018 election cycle than at any other time in US history, challenging accepted notions about who seeks power and who gets it.
Journalist Caitlin Moscatello reported on this wave of female candidates for New York magazine’s The Cut, Glamour, and Elle. And in See Jane Win, she further documents this pivotal time in women’s history. Closely following four candidates throughout the entire process, from the decision to run through Election Day, See Jane Win takes readers inside their exciting, winning campaigns and the sometimes thrilling, sometimes brutal realities of running for office while female.
MEET THE CANDIDATES:
Abigail Spanberger, a mom of three young girls and a former CIA operative, running for Congress in Virginia to unseat Freedom Caucus member Dave Brat.
Catalina Cruz, a Colombian-born attorney whose state assembly bid could make her the first Dreamer elected in New York and only the third in the country.
Anna Eskamani, an Iranian-American woman running for state office in Florida, with a campaign motivated by her mother’s health-care struggles and the Pulse Nightclub shootings.
London Lamar, a Memphis native looking to become the youngest female representative in the Tennessee state house, running in one of the only Democratic and Black-majority areas of a largely conservative state.
Beyond the 2018 victories, Moscatello speaks with researchers, strategists, and the leaders of organizations that helped women win. What she discovers is that the candidates who triumphed in 2018 emphasized authenticity and passion instead of conforming to the stereotype of what a candidate should look or sound like, a formula that will be more relevant than ever as we approach the 2020 presidential election.
About the Author
Caitlin Moscatello is a journalist and writer covering gender, reproductive rights, and politics, who has been reporting on the surge of female candidates since it began in early 2017. In recent years, she has been nominated for a National Magazine Award; received a Front Page Award and a Planned Parenthood Media Excellence Award; and has been a United Nations press fellow reporting on women’s health issues. She’s also the founder of Repro, a newsletter about reproductive rights legislation at the state and federal levels. Moscatello’s writing has appeared in outlets including The Cut, Elle, Medium, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour, Refinery29, Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Fast Company, and O, The Oprah Magazine. She lives in Manhattan.
“See Jane Win is a bracing antidote to that dreadful November election night in 2016 when women of the world watched as their champion, so close to shattering the highest glass ceiling, lost to a self-avowed assaulter… a book alive with insight and excitement about women who have overcome obstacles… Moscatello captures highlights from the campaign trail and the fierce urgency of new candidates, and illuminates in vivid detail the moments that show the essence of these women’s guiding values… The stories told here suggest that the rise of women in leadership in 2018 can last beyond 2020 to assert a vision of what all Americans need”
“A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the campaigns of four female candidates who helped make history in the 2018 midterms.”
"Caitlin Moscatello began reporting on women running in the 2018 midterm elections soon after the women’s marches of 2017. See Jane Win is her celebration of their triumph... Moscatello, a freelance journalist, captures the big trends of the midterms, most important among them that women won because they ran contrary to the old advice."
—New York Times
"It’s a tribute to Moscatello’s skill as a writer that she can make topics like fundraising and myriad other facets of campaigning interesting. And the story she tells is a much needed on-the-ground account of the obstacles women entering politics face, and the victories that are possible. Readers of See Jane Win will be fascinated, enlightened, outraged and, ultimately, inspired."
—Christian Science Monitor
"A thoroughly real, behind-the-scenes account of the triumphant ‘pink wave’ of the 2018 midterm elections.”
“Last year’s elections saw more women win political office than ever before. In closely following four candidates—including a former CIA agent and a Colombian immigrant—from the moment they decided to run to their victory parties, Moscatello tells the inside stories of the momentous vote.”
“By going into detail, Moscatello does more than just chart [Spanberger, Cruz, Eskamani, and Lamar’s] rise; she offers ample evidence that women like them are poised to reshape the entire political system.”
“Journalist Moscatello provides a close-up view of women's journeys from activists to candidates and politicians in recent U.S. elections…. [She] squarely addresses multiple layers of intersectional biases women face, exposing how racism, homophobia, classism, and sexism may impact candidates. The result broadens conversations about political engagement and clarifies how diverse voices strengthen the political landscape regardless of party affiliation… Moscatello optimistically and realistically balances a blend of demographics and anecdotes from the candidates and politicians, painting a provocative picture about the impact of equalizing representation in the American political world. Memorable stories and illustrative data combine in a pertinent political and cultural analysis.”
—Kirkus Reviews (Starred)
“Caitlin Moscatello’s account of the extraordinary 2018 midterms is a profoundly inspiring work of journalism. See Jane Win throws the spotlight on the women who responded to the upheaval of the 2016 presidential election by running for political office, despite the very real risks to their careers, families, and privacy. We were instantly captivated by Moscatello’s profiles of candidates like Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger, Florida’s Anna Eskamani, and Illinois’ Lauren Underwood, which capture the undeniable power of outrage and determination. Moscatello is a gifted storyteller, delivering an unvarnished and utterly compelling depiction of what it really takes to win a campaign—from learning to ask for money to facing down very public displays of misogyny and racism.”
—Apple Books Review
“With the upcoming 2020 presidential race and other recent high-profile elections, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers, especially women and teen girls who are intrigued by the wave of female candidates who are changing the face of the American government.”
“In this rousing debut, journalist Moscatello follows left-wing women who ran for American public office for the first time in the 2018 midterms...This optimistic and well-reported look at the post-Trump blue wave will inspire progressive readers.”
“In See Jane Win, Caitlin Moscatello is telling one of the most urgent stories of our time: about the approach, priorities and challenges faced by new kinds of leaders aiming for new kinds of political power, with an eye toward permanently altering (and perhaps saving) our democracy. Moscatello's view is both broad and deep: she is looking at the story of women in contemporary politics from multiple angles, and understand race, age, class--and the ideological and policy commitments of these candidates--to be just as crucial to their stories as their gender. Plus: it's a very fun read! See Jane Win is absolutely necessary moving not just into 2020, but decades of political engagement that are ahead of us.”
—Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author of Good and Mad and All The Single Ladies
“If you were depressed about the 2016 election, See Jane Win is a balm—and a playbook. In chronicling the ‘pink wave’ of female candidates who swept to power in 2018, Caitlin Moscatello dives deep into how these victories happened, who made them happen, and what it all means for women and the future of American politics. If you want to understand where we are as a nation and what to watch for in 2020—or if you want to renew your faith in American politics, and maybe even run yourself—you must read this book.”
—Jill Filipovic, author of The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness
“A behind-the-scenes look at the most hopeful trend in American democracy, full of gripping stories and well-researched analysis. If you want to know how our politics are changing—or you want to change them yourself—See Jane Win is an indispensable guide.”
—David Litt, New York Times bestselling author of Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years