The Feminine Mystique

The Feminine Mystique

3.8 10
by Betty Friedan
     
 

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Landmark, groundbreaking, classic—these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual

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Overview

Landmark, groundbreaking, classic—these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home. Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire. This 50th–anniversary edition features an afterword by best-selling author Anna Quindlen as well as a new introduction by Gail Collins.

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Editorial Reviews

Arianna Huffington - O Magazine
“The Feminine Mystique forever changed the conversation as well as the way women view themselves. If you’ve never read it, read it now and reflect on what our mothers and grandmothers were feeling at the time. It’s a great moment to celebrate this milestone work, which fundamentally altered the course of women’s lives.”
Nanette Fondas - The Atlantic
“Re-reading The Feminine Mystique, it exudes love for the human being, human spirit, and human potential. She wants mothers—indeed, all people—to "lean in" to life's work and not fear inevitable difficulties that arise when trying to "have it all" and juggle work and family. Overcome obstacles. Solve problems. Serve leftovers, she urges. Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique 50 years ago, but today her wisdom still merits sharing.”
Andi Zeisler - Salon
“The Tupac Shakur of literary feminism, reincarnated at least once every decade with new insights that engender old beefs while at the same time serving as a reminder of why it’s a classic.”
Library Journal
Friedan was a college graduate and reporter who lost her job when pregnant with the second of her three children. She found the role of homemaker unfulfilling and wondered if other women in her graduating class felt the same way, so she surveyed them in preparation for a college reunion. The responses were the basis of this title, which hit bookstore/library shelves like a bomb in February 1963. This 50th-anniversary edition sports a new intro by New York Times columnist Gail Collins and an afterword by novelist Anna Quindlen.

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Kirkus Reviews
The 50th-anniversary edition of a modern classic, featuring an introduction by Gail Collins and an afterword by Anna Quindlen. A great deal has changed since Friedan's monumental book was published, but readers should not be discouraged from revisiting it. In 1929, Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own helped define the goals women had been seeking for 100 years, and Friedan picked up the ball and drove it forward, giving women the right and the will to "be." The days of functional education are gone--no more college courses on marriage--and the image of the "little woman" is also a thing of the past; women are no longer just living vicariously through husbands and children. What still lingers is the exaltation of housework, the need for a "woman's touch" and the advertising industry's continued attempts at glorifying the role of women in family and society. Having a man cooking, putting away the groceries or holding the baby doesn't change the old image of Mom running the house and Dad earning the living. The author notes that in the 1930s and '40s, women were more likely to apply their college educations in meaningful careers, even though many still ran the house. The onset of World War II changed all that. Suddenly, it was society that defined what a woman was, ignoring the constant quest for "something more." Also included in this edition of the groundbreaking book is the introduction to the 10th-anniversary edition and Friedan's 1997 piece, "Metamorphosis: Two Generations Later." A vastly significant book that has made a world of difference, much of it slowly acquired.
Alvin Toffler
The book that pulled the trigger on history.
Marilyn French
[A] bridge between conservative and radical elements in feminism, an ardent advocate of harmony and human values. —Esquire
Amitai Etzioni
One of those rare books we are endowed with only once in several decades.
Esquire - Marilyn French
“[A] bridge between conservative and radical elements in feminism, an ardent advocate of harmony and human values.”
Anna Quindlen
“[The Feminine Mystique] now feels both revolutionary and utterly contemporary. . . . Four decades later, millions of individual transformations later, there is still so much to learn from this book. . . . Those who think of it as solely a feminist manifesto ought to revisit its pages to get a sense of the magnitude of the research and reporting Friedan undertook.”
Marilyn French - Esquire
“[A] bridge between conservative and radical elements in feminism, an ardent advocate of harmony and human values.”
Esquire
[A] bridge between conservative and radical elements in feminism, an ardent advocate of harmony and human values.— Marilyn French

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393063790
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/11/2013
Edition description:
50th Anniversary Edition
Pages:
592
Sales rank:
496,080
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Anna Quindlen
[The Feminine Mystique] now feels both revolutionary and utterly contemporary. . . . Four decades later, millions of individual transformations later, there is still so much to learn from this book. . . . Those who think of it as solely a feminist manifesto ought to revisit its pages to get a sense of the magnitude of the research and reporting Friedan undertook.
Amitai Etzioni
One of those rare books we are endowed wIth only once in several decades, a volume that launched a major social movement....Betty Friedan is a liberator of women and men.
— (Amitai Etzioni, author of The Spirit of Community: The Reinvention of American Society)
Alvin Toffler
The book that puled the trigger on history. Future Shock)

Meet the Author

Betty Friedan (1921–2006), a transformational leader of the women’s movement, founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) and authored many works, including The Second Stage, The Fountain of Age, and Life So Far.

Gail Collins, the best-selling author of When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960
to the Present
, is a national columnist for the New York Times. She lives in New York City.

Anna Quindlen is an award-winning columnist and novelist. She left journalism in 1995 to write fiction full time and has published three bestsellers. She lives in New York City.

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The Feminine Mystique 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so completly outstanding. I couldn't put it down. It explained how feminisim developed and what type of forms it is disguised in. This book should be in every women's home. Everybody including men should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though the problems and statistics have changed much of it resonates with my own experiences. Women should be required to read this book, especially after they've gotten married or had children. So many questions I could not find the words for have now been answered. And a reminder to carry forward doing what makes us happiest.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it and widen your horizons a bit. Skip the latest paperback bestseller and use your mind instead.