An all-star cast revisits the end of an ERA

CATE BLANCHETT MAKES HER GRAND ENTRANCE AS THE star of Mrs. America wearing an American-flag bikini, heels and a smile. It’s 1971, and her character is onstage at a fundraiser. But when she turns away from the audience, Blanchett looks bored. She has ambitions beyond her prescribed role. And by the end of this decade-spanning miniseries, she’s an unstoppable force in American politics.

Her story has the arc of a classic female-empowerment narrative, but Blanchett’s character happens to be Phyllis Schlafly, whose biggest achievement was squashing the Equal Rights Amendment. This irony, which suffuses the exceptional nine-part series, wasn’t lost on Schlafly’s enemies in the women’s

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