When Everything Changed

When Everything Changed

The Amazing Journey of American Women From 1960 to the Present

Book - 2009
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co, 2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316059541
Characteristics: 471 p. ; 25 cm.


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PrimaGigi Nov 28, 2012

Like Friedan's book it left out entire demographics of women and feminism only to focus on the white, educated, middle class women. Basically Liberal Feminism. With only a spare mentioning of Women of color, there really was no in-depth look about the poor of the 60's and how a lack of higher education and being exploited and over worked caused their own movements. But what can you expect for someone who works at the Times.

Aug 21, 2012

I'm a fan of Gail Collins' editorials in the New York Times, so it's no surprise I enjoyed this book. Though I've lived through much of it, I was fascinated by the author's perspective and voices of women from the last 50 years. This is a compelling and informative read.

May 17, 2012

Excellent book. I am a big fan of
Gail Collins. She did a great job of describing events and people who were instrumental in bringing changes for women. She also showed how the Civil Rights Movement impacted the women's movement.

kcs76 Nov 12, 2011

I'm a fan of Gail Collins' columns in the New York Times so when the library started offering Kindle format ebooks a few weeks ago, and this was available, I pounced. It's a complete and very readable review of the history and accomplishments of the women's movement in the United States from the late 1950s to the present. She tells the stories of individual women, some famous, some not, and places the women's movement in the context of twentieth century social justice movements. The book is both entertaining and educational, and especially recommended for anyone born after 1980. From the perspective of 2011 it's almost impossible to imagine what the world was like for women only a generation or two ago.

Feb 13, 2011

It's been a while since I've read a great book, so that may factor into why I like this book so much. Collins covers a significant swath of historical topics, keeps the vignettes punchy, coming up with a page-turner - which is great considering the text clocks in at 400 pages.

One aspect I appreciated was how Collins didn't write a "yay women!" book, but instead addressed each historical topic, the debate, the outcome and the lasting impacts - for better or worse. Also surprised at how benevolent Collins handled the topic of Sarah Palin - considering Collins has worked as the Op Ed editor for the NYT, media I'm sure Palin has accused of being liberal and elitist.


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