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.
""Gail Collins's When Everything Changed points out what the women on ""Mad Men"" know: that period in our history was less enjoyable for the ladies.... The early pages of Ms. Collins's book are peppered with accounts of incidents so outrageous they almost seem like jokes....but Ms. Collins underlines the serious consequences of such risible moments by including the stories of individual women-from overworked housewives to marginalized politicians-whose lives were cramped and deformed by the culture's low opinion of their capabilities.... Ms. Collins reminds us of how many aspects of our lives were affected by the battles these women fought. And even readers who lived through this era may be surprised to discover how much they never knew, or have forgotten...Among the impressive features of Ms. Collins's book is her genial, fair-minded sympathy, her refusal to smirk at the excesses of the most radical '70s feminists or at the stance of women, among them Phyllis Schlafly, who counseled their sisters to stay home where they belonged. This evenhandedness seems all the more admirable later in the book, when she considers the significance of Hillary Rodham Clinton's and Sarah Palin's roles in the 2008 presidential election.""