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When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Presentby Gail Collins
Synopses & Reviews
Picking up where her previous successful, and highly lauded book, America's Women, left off, Gail Collins recounts the sea change women have experienced since 1960. A comprehensive mix of oral history and Collins's keen research, this is the definitive book about five crucial decades of progress, told with the down-to-earth, amusing, and agenda-free tone this beloved New York Times columnist is known for. The interviews with women who have lived through these transformative years include an advertising executive in the 60s who was not allowed to attend board meetings that took place in the all-male dining room; and an airline stewardess who remembered being required to bend over to light her passengers' cigars on the men-only 'Executive Flight' from New York to Chicago.
We, too, may have forgotten the enormous strides made by women since 1960 — and the rare setbacks. "Hell yes, we have a quota — 7%" said a medical school dean in 1961. "We do keep women out, when we can." At a pre-graduation party at Barnard College, they handed corsages to the girls who were engaged and lemons to those who weren't. In 1960, two-thirds of women 18-60 surveyed by Gallup didn't approve of the idea of a female president. Until 1972, no woman ran in the Boston Marathon, the year when Title IX passed, requiring parity for boys and girls in school athletic programs (and also the year after Nixon vetoed the childcare legislation passed by congress). What happened during the past fifty years — a period that led to the first woman's winning a Presidential Primary — and why? The cataclysmic change in the lives of American women is a story Gail Collins seems to have been born to tell.
"You've come a long way, baby: that's Collins's conclusion about American women, who once lacked the right to publicly wear pants and now take their place on the presidential campaign trail and the battlefield. New York Times columnist Collins attempts a comprehensive account of the last 50 years of women's history in this sequel to America's Women, primarily focusing on the 1960s. Giving relatively short shrift to the current generation of young women, Collins centers the bulk of her attention on the baby boom generation (to which she belongs) and leaders like NOW founder Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, as well as dozens of ordinary struggling women. The book's stronger parts include highlighting pioneers like Congresswoman Martha Griffiths, who began her political career in the 1940s and stories of laughably shortsighted sexism against Sandra Day O'Connor. Collins captures the conundrums of feminism's success (does a see-through blouse make a woman liberated or a sex object?), but the book will probably resonate most for her generational peers. 16 pages of b&w photographs." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Picking up where her previous successful book, America's Women, left off, Collins recounts the sea change women have experienced since 1960. A comprehensive mix of oral history and keen research, this is the definitive book about five crucial decades of progress.
Gail Collins, New York Times columnist and bestselling author, recounts the astounding revolution in women's lives over the past 50 years, with her usual sly wit and unfussy style (People).
When Everything Changed begins in 1960, when most American women had to get their husbands' permission to apply for a credit card. It ends in 2008 with Hillary Clinton's historic presidential campaign. This was a time of cataclysmic change, when, after four hundred years, expectations about the lives of American women were smashed in just a generation.
A comprehensive mix of oral history and Gail Collins's keen research--covering politics, fashion, popular culture, economics, sex, families, and work--When Everything Changed is the definitive book on five crucial decades of progress. The enormous strides made since 1960 include the advent of the birth control pill, the end of Help Wanted--Male and Help Wanted--Female ads, and the lifting of quotas for women in admission to medical and law schools. Gail Collins describes what has happened in every realm of women's lives, partly through the testimonies of both those who made history and those who simply made their way.
Picking up where her highly lauded book America's Women left off, When Everything Changed is a dynamic story, told with the down-to-earth, amusing, and agenda-free tone for which this beloved New York Times columnist is known. Older readers, men and women alike, will be startled as they are reminded of what their lives once were--Father Knows Best and My Little Margie on TV; daily weigh-ins for stewardesses; few female professors; no women in the Boston marathon, in combat zones, or in the police department. Younger readers will see their history in a rich new way. It has been an era packed with drama and dreams--some dashed and others realized beyond anyone's imagining.
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