Overview

“If you’ve never read it, read it now.”—Arianna Huffington, O, The Oprah Magazine


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 ...
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The Feminine Mystique (50th Anniversary Edition)

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Overview

“If you’ve never read it, read it now.”—Arianna Huffington, O, The Oprah Magazine


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

Amitai Etzioni
One of those rare books we are endowed with only once in several decades.
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
Esquire
[A] bridge between conservative and radical elements in feminism, an ardent advocate of harmony and human values.”— Marilyn French
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.”
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393239188
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/4/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 61,714
  • File size: 657 KB

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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Table of Contents

Metamorphosis: Two Generations Later
Twenty Years After
Introduction to the Tenth Anniversary Adition 3
Preface and Acknowledgments 9
1 The Problem That Has No Name 15
2 The Happy Housewife Heroine 33
3 The Crisis in Woman's Identity 69
4 The Passionate Journey 80
5 The Sexual Solipsism of Sigmund Freud 103
6 The Functional Freeze, the Feminine Protest, and Margaret Mead 126
7 The Sex-Directed Educators 150
8 The Mistaken Choice 182
9 The Sexual Sell 206
10 Housewifery Expands to Fill the Time Available 233
11 The Sex-Seekers 258
12 Progressive Dehumanization: The Comfortable Concentration Camp 282
13 The Forfeited Self 310
14 A New Life Plan for Women 338
Epilogue 379
Thoughts on Becoming a Grandmother 397
Notes 419
Index 445
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