When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

( 49 )

Overview

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 ...

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When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

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Overview

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 BarnardCollege, "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 totell.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Gail Collins' America's Women (HarperCollins, 0061227226, $15.99) escorted readers through "400 years of dolls, drudges, helpmates, and heroines," thus setting the stage for this inspiring recap of the amazing progress (and occasional setbacks) experienced by women in the past five decades. The first chapters of When Everything Changed will astonish many younger readers with their accounts of the casually expressed sexism of the Korean War and Vietnam War era; even older men and women will bristle with anger at Collins's stories of hard-fought battles for basic human rights. Like its predecessor, this narrative history by a veteran New York Times columnist avoids preachiness as its move briskly forward. Snapshots of a revolution not yet won. Now in paperback.

<b>Cathleen Schine</b> - The New York Review of Books
"Collins, whose prose is vigorous and direct, has an unflaggingly intelligent conversational style that gives this book a personal and authoritative tone all at once."
Katha Pollitt - Slate.com
"Exhilarating, accessible, and inspiring."
Cathleen Schine
Collins, whose prose is vigorous and direct, has an unflaggingly intelligent conversational style that gives this book a personal and authoritative tone all at once.
The New York Review of Books
Katha Pollitt
Exhilarating, accessible, and inspiring.
Slate.com
Margaret Talbot
"Fascinating...This story of how ideas that were once the norm began to seem unfair and then absurd is what Gail Collins tells in her lively new book. Until now, the second wave women's movement hasn't had its big ambitious history-the equivalent to Taylor Branch's multivolume narrative of the civil rights movement. There have been brilliant memoirs and revealing biographies and scholarly books that took slices of the movement and put them under a magnifying glass, but nothing as sweeping and accessible as this."
Slate.com's "DoubleX"
Rasha Madkour
"Riveting and remarkably thorough in its account of this tumultuous period.... Collins draws on an impressive variety of sources...and employs her engaging and accessible writing style to created a very readable history book."
The Associated Press, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, New York Daily News
Liza Mundy
Gail Collins's rich, readable account of the last 50 years of the women's movement…reminds us of the triumphs, mortifications and hilarity of the early decades, as well as the personalities.
—The Washington Post
Francine Prose
Providing capsule histories of liberals and conservatives, of ordinary women and public figures, from Betty Friedan to Billie Jean King, from Bella Abzug to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, from Gloria Steinem to the antigay activist Anita Bryant, 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 stances of women, among them Phyllis Schlafly, who counseled their sisters to stay home where they belonged.
—The New York Times
Amy Bloom
Did feminism fail? Gail Collins's smart, thorough, often droll and extremely readable account of women's recent history in America not only answers this question brilliantly, but also poses new ones about the past and the present, as she explicates moments that were widely recorded and illuminates scenes that were barely remarked upon at the time.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
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. (Oct. 14)
Kirkus Reviews
The impressive sequel to America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines (2003). Collins-the first-ever female editor of the New York Times, and currently an op-ed contributor-offers an enormously entertaining cultural and social history. Her extensive research weaves the compelling stories of more than 100 women, ranging in age from 20 to 80, into a larger narrative of politics, economics and sexual mores. The author chronicles the story of the National Organization for Women (NOW), the women's-liberation movement and its forerunner, the civil-rights movement, the failed struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment and the impact of Roe v. Wade and Title IX. She populates her account with dozens of well- and lesser-known female leaders, including Sherri Finkbine, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Alice Paul, Margaret Chase Smith, Phyllis Schlafly, Helen Gurley Brown and Billy Jean King. Collins paints a vivid picture of the world as it was, and as it has so radically altered life for American girls and women. Fashions, hairstyles, dating, birth control-all are grist for her mill. Without preaching, she shows the sexism that women (and men) once accepted as the norm, and she backs up her often eye-opening stories with hard facts and solid statistics. From the opening anecdote of a woman expelled from traffic court in 1960 for appearing in slacks, to the closing one of a woman fired from her job as a bus driver in 2007 for refusing to wear slacks, this an engrossing account of how not just the daily lives, but the assumptions and expectations of women have changed so much in so short a time. Collins can be deadly serious and great fun to read at the same time. A revelatorybook for readers of both sexes, and sure to become required reading for any American women's-studies course. Agent: Alice Martell/Alice Martell Agency
Chris Vognar - The Dallas Morning News
"Compulsively readable....Millions lived through the material Collins covers in her new book. To those who did not, it might read a little like science fiction."
Judith Newman - People
"New York Times columnist Collins is such a delicious writer, it's easy to forget the scope of her scholarship in this remarkable look at women's progress over the past 50 years.... Next time you're sitting by yourself, happily, in a café, thank Betty Friedan, who was kicked out of a Ritz-Carlton bar for drinking alone, wrote about it--and helped spark a revolution."
Margaret Talbot - Slate.com's Double X
"Fascinating...This story of how ideas that were once the norm began to seem unfair and then absurd is what Gail Collins tells in her lively new book. Until now, the second wave women's movement hasn't had its big ambitious history-the equivalent to Taylor Branch's multivolume narrative of the civil rights movement. There have been brilliant memoirs and revealing biographies and scholarly books that took slices of the movement and put them under a magnifying glass, but nothing as sweeping and accessible as this."
Dallas Morning News
"Compulsively readable."
Los Angeles Times
"Riveting and remarkably thorough in its account of this tumultuous period."
From the Publisher
"The new must-have text for modern feminists. Her simple message to our generation: We must not take our astounding journey for granted."—Ami Angelwicz, The Frisky.com
Judith Newman
New York Times columnist Collins is such a delicious writer, it's easy to forget the scope of her scholarship in this remarkable look at women's progress over the past 50 years.... Next time you're sitting by yourself, happily, in a café, thank Betty Friedan, who was kicked out of a Ritz-Carlton bar for drinking alone, wrote about it—and helped spark a revolution.
People
Eliza Borné - BookPage.com
"Provides a sweeping, fascinating look at modern women in our country.... It may be a history book, but When Everything Changed reads like a page-turning saga, a race through the years to learn how we got here."
Sharon Ullman - Boston Sunday Globe
"I should mention that Collins is at the top of my guest list for my imaginary dinner party, the theme of which would be: 'Famous fun people I'd like to meet and talk with, but probably never will'...Readers will appreciate the exceptional detail with which Collins lays out the accepted universe of closed opportunities and limited horizons that women faced in 1960. Collins interviewed a variety of women from around the country, and it is fascinating to hear them describe a world that seems unthinkable now but which few could imagine challenging at the time....The stories that emerge are...deeply moving."
Glenn C. Altschuler - NPR.com
"Splendid...Collins is a masterful storyteller."
Katherine Boyle - Booklist
"This is not only a fascinating record of how far women have come, it is also a missive to a new generation of women, reminding them to keep the faith."
Elaine Showalter - Progressive Book Club
"A lively account...Collins uses her great sense of revealing anecdote, engaging personalities, representative case histories, resonant stories, and startling details to defamiliarize a decade we thought we remembered, and to show how truly far American women have come in every aspect of their lives.... Collins's message is inspiring and timely, and all the techniques she employs to make this book fun to read--and impossible to deny--deserve critical praise as well as popular success."
MiChelle Jones - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Social history at its best, an engaging and accessible collection of facts fleshed out with cameo appearances by and capsule biographies of people who played a role in transforming the lives of American women."
Jill Lawrence - Politics Daily
"Readers familiar with her work will recognize her eye for ironic detail in this wry, insightful and comprehensive book...there are many wonderful, triumphal moments...Collins wants us to remember how bad things were in the 1960s, and she succeeds."
Ellen Goodman - The Seattle Times
"Women aren't nostalgic for the old days. If anyone is, just watch a few episodes of "Mad Men" as an antidote, with its suffocated Mad Wife Betty Draper and its slapped-down Working Woman Peggy Olsen. If you prefer nonfiction, leaf through the early chapters of Gail Collins's history When Everything Changed to those magical yesteryears when a flight attendant was weighed, measured, and hired to be a flying geisha."
Connie Schultz - The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"In her pithy, wide-ranging and readable new book, Gail Collins whisks us through nearly five decades of women's history... Famous names and familiar stories appear, but what is most compelling are the vignettes of women who would have remained obscure without the work of Collins and her research team. Through their stories we experience the rat-a-tat-tat of daily indignities--big and small--that built to a crescendo we now call the women's movement."
Eliza Borné - BookPage
"In a fascinating history, Gail Collins goes behind the scenes of the women's rights movement.... When Everything Changed provides a sweeping, fascinating look at modern women in our country. Filled with facts, court cases and legislation, the book is rich with personal anecdotes. Collins and her researchers interviewed more than 100 women for this history, and for many contemporary readers, their findings will be startling and sometimes heartbreaking.... The end of her book will make many readers swell with pride--it features updates on the lives of the interview subjects featured in the book, many of whom went on to break barriers for many years. The story their lives helped write--of American women from the 1960s to today--is inspiring and compelling."
Ben Dickinson - Elle
"'The past is a foreign country' is the kind of hallowed quotation that's resolutely opaque until you stumble on something that drives home its emotional truth. The uncanny feeling it references is that one that recurs frequently as you read When Everything Changed, the absorbing history of feminism and American women's lives by Gail Collins, the resident editorial fount of wry Midwestern common sense at The New York Times.... What Collins does, which so pitiably few pop-history writers do, is bring the stories, the anecdotes that come to life and pull you in."
Francine Prose - New York Times
"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."
Elizabeth Toohey - The Christian Science Monitor
"What better time to look at American women's progress since the '60s, now that the dust has settled on the 2008 presidential election when so much was won and lost by women?... Gail Collins's near epic history When Everything Changed...also captures the playfulness and humor in women's advancement."
Margaret Talbot - Slate.com's "Double X"
"Fascinating...This story of how ideas that were once the norm began to seem unfair and then absurd is what Gail Collins tells in her lively new book. Until now, the second wave women's movement hasn't had its big ambitious history-the equivalent to Taylor Branch's multivolume narrative of the civil rights movement. There have been brilliant memoirs and revealing biographies and scholarly books that took slices of the movement and put them under a magnifying glass, but nothing as sweeping and accessible as this."
Amy Bloom - The New York Times Book Review
"Did feminism fail? Gail Collins's smart, thorough, often droll and extremely readable account of women's recent history in America not only answers this question brilliantly, but also poses new ones about the past and the present. . . . Collins . . .begins When Everything Changed with the best summary of American women's social and political history that I've read. . . .One of the many pleasures here is that Collins also reminds us of what women did in private."
Rasha Madkour - The Associated Press
"Riveting and remarkably thorough in its account of this tumultuous period.... Collins draws on an impressive variety of sources...and employs her engaging and accessible writing style to created a very readable history book."
Ami Angelwicz - The Frisky.com
"The new must-have text for modern feminists. Her simple message to our generation: We must not take our astounding journey for granted."
Amy Bloom
Did feminism fail? Gail Collins's smart, thorough, often droll and extremely readable account of women's recent history in America not only answers this question brilliantly, but also poses new ones about the past and the present. . . . Collins . . .begins When Everything Changed with the best summary of American women's social and political history that I've read. . . .One of the many pleasures {here} is that Collins also reminds us of what women did in private.
The New York Times Book Review
Margaret Talbot
Fascinating...This story of how ideas that were once the norm began to seem unfair and then absurd is what Gail Collins tells in her lively new book. Until now, the second wave women's movement hasn't had its big ambitious history-the equivalent to Taylor Branch's multivolume narrative of the civil rights movement. There have been brilliant memoirs and revealing biographies and scholarly books that took slices of the movement and put them under a magnifying glass, but nothing as sweeping and accessible as this.
Slate.com's Double X
Francine Prose
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.
New York Times
Elizabeth Toohey
What better time to look at American women's progress since the '60s, now that the dust has settled on the 2008 presidential election when so much was won (and lost) by women?... Gail Collins's near epic history When Everything Changed...also captures the playfulness and humor in women's advancement.
The Christian Science Monitor
Ben Dickinson
The past is a foreign country' is the kind of hallowed quotation that's resolutely opaque until you stumble on something that drives home its emotional truth. The uncanny feeling it references is that one that recurs frequently as you read When Everything Changed, the absorbing history of feminism and American women's lives by Gail Collins, the resident editorial fount of wry Midwestern common sense at The New York Times.... What Collins does, which so pitiably few pop-history writers do, is bring the stories, the anecdotes that come to life and pull you in.
Elle
Katherine Boyle
This is not only a fascinating record of how far women have come, it is also a missive to a new generation of women, reminding them to keep the faith.
Booklist
Elaine Showalter
A lively account...Collins uses her great sense of revealing anecdote, engaging personalities, representative case histories, resonant stories, and startling details to defamiliarize a decade we thought we remembered, and to show how truly far American women have come in every aspect of their lives.... Collins's message is inspiring and timely, and all the techniques she employs to make this book fun to read—and impossible to deny—deserve critical praise as well as popular success.
Progressive Book Club
Eliza Borne
In a fascinating history, Gail Collins goes behind the scenes of the women's rights movement.... When Everything Changed provides a sweeping, fascinating look at modern women in our country. Filled with facts, court cases and legislation, the book is rich with personal anecdotes. Collins and her researchers interviewed more than 100 women for this history, and for many contemporary readers, their findings will be startling and sometimes heartbreaking.... The end of her book will make many readers swell with pride—it features updates on the lives of the interview subjects featured in the book, many of whom went on to break barriers for many years. The story their lives helped write—of American women from the 1960s to today—is inspiring and compelling.
BookPage
Sharon Ullman
I should mention that Collins is at the top of my guest list for my imaginary dinner party, the theme of which would be: 'Famous fun people I'd like to meet and talk with, but probably never will'...Readers will appreciate the exceptional detail with which Collins lays out the accepted universe of closed opportunities and limited horizons that women faced in 1960. Collins interviewed a variety of women from around the country, and it is fascinating to hear them describe a world that seems unthinkable now but which few could imagine challenging at the time....The stories that emerge are...deeply moving.
Boston Sunday Globe
Glenn C. Altschuler
Splendid...Collins is a masterful storyteller.
NPR.com
Michelle Jones
Social history at its best, an engaging and accessible collection of facts fleshed out with cameo appearances by and capsule biographies of people who played a role in transforming the lives of American women.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Connie Schultz
In her pithy, wide-ranging and readable new book, Gail Collins whisks us through nearly five decades of women's history... Famous names and familiar stories appear, but what is most compelling are the vignettes of women who would have remained obscure without the work of Collins and her research team. Through their stories we experience the rat-a-tat-tat of daily indignities—big and small—that built to a crescendo we now call the women's movement.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Ellen Goodman
Women aren't nostalgic for the old days. If anyone is, just watch a few episodes of "Mad Men" as an antidote, with its suffocated Mad Wife Betty Draper and its slapped-down Working Woman Peggy Olsen. If you prefer nonfiction, leaf through the early chapters of Gail Collins's history When Everything Changed to those magical yesteryears when a flight attendant was weighed, measured, and hired to be a flying geisha.
The Seattle Times
Jill Lawrence
Readers familiar with her work will recognize her eye for ironic detail in this wry, insightful and comprehensive book...there are many wonderful, triumphal moments...Collins wants us to remember how bad things were in the 1960s, and she succeeds.
Politics Daily
Chris Vognar
Compulsively readable....Millions lived through the material Collins covers in her new book. To those who did not, it might read a little like science fiction.
The Dallas Morning News
LadiesHomeJournal.com
"Gail Collins walks you through a fascinating five decades of history that shows you just how far women have come."
Rasha Madkour
Riveting and remarkably thorough in its account of this tumultuous period.... Collins draws on an impressive variety of sources...and employs her engaging and accessible writing style to created a very readable history book.
The Associated Press, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, New York Daily News
Ami Angelwicz
The new must-have text for modern feminists. Her simple message to our generation: We must not take our astounding journey for granted.
The Frisky.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316014045
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 10/21/2010
  • Pages: 475
  • Sales rank: 92,524
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail Collins

Gail Collins was the Editorial Page Editor for the New York Times from 2001-2007—the first woman to have held that position. She currently writes a column for the Time's Op-Ed page twice weekly.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2009

    Fabulous, Balanced, and Fascinating History of the Role of American Women

    Let me start out by clearly stating the I am not a raving feminist or "women's libber", but I wanted to read this book as I am a major history lover. Gail Collins writes in such an interesting way that is hard to stop thinking about. It is an unbiased, agenda-free, well-researched history of the way the role of women has changed in America over the past sixty years or so, and how we got where we are today. Discusses the broader trends and ideology while humanizing the story with interviews and stories of specific people, mostly women of course, and how they were affected.

    I was born in 1962, so it has been weird remembering part of what happened in the sixties, but not really being old enough to understand it all. This book has done a lot to explain to me why the seventies were as they were, why the suburban mothers in the sixties seemed so depressed and drank alot, and why so many women suddenly seemed to enter the work force during my high school years. Mostly, however, it has made clearer what women have courageously done in the past to allow me to have the opportunities that I have today. Superbly written, and highly recommended to anyone interested in women's issues, or recent American history.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    spectacular

    The most important book I have ever read. I was born in 1948 & I felt the book was about my life. I bought copies for my friends & children.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Ms. Collins excellently portrays the women's liberation movement

    Ms. Collins excellently portrays the women's liberation movement of the 1960's and 1970's as an important event in American history.
    Without this movement , women today would live very differently. Through many anecdotes, Collins demonstrates how women fought for
    their rights to equal pay and treatment in the workforce, as well as the right to carry out financial transactions and personal medical
    decisions without the aid of their husband or father. Collins explains many of the larger issues in great detail, and those include issues
    such as: women in the workforce, politics, popular culture, economics; the sexual revolution; women's health rights such as abortion
    and contraceptives; and women in the family dynamic. While I do not always agree with her opinions, she does a fairly good job of
    presenting both sides to the issues. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and  definitely learned more about how the women's liberation
    movement shaped the world as we know it today. 

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    All women should read this book.

    This book was amazing. A must-read for women. I find myself referencing it in conversations. It brought to life experiences and stories that I never could have fully understood before this book. I can talk with my grandma and mom about things that happened in their lifetime that I could not have talked with them about before. Gives you an appreciation for what so many women did before us to make our lives what they are today.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting and a quick read, but jumps around a bit

    I picked this book up because I wanted a historical timeline of the modern feminist movement, and it definitely delivered what I wanted. The narrative was a little slow and convoluted at times, but it was a surprisingly quick read. I'm young (under-21 young) and it gave a perspective on what feminists have had to undergo even recently, and helps set the stage for further advancement.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 19, 2012

    Excellent and fascinating story of the fight for women's rights

    Excellent and fascinating story of the fight for women's rights in the second half of the 20th century. Collins uses her journalistic skills to their best advantage here. I picked this book up on a whim, knowing only her work from the New York Times, and I was not disappointed. Fabulous.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    This is a book everyone should read to begin to grasp what has happened the past 40+ years for women and to some extent men in the US.

    I was born in 1961 - this was like reading a news-reel script of events that happened in my lifetime and that effected me personally. Thank you Gail Collins for writing this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    This Says It All

    My mom bought me this book because she knows how strong my feminist viewpoints are and let me say, I love this book. Even though I have it in hardback and not as an ebook I would still recommend this to any female, young or old. This book will really make you appreciate the women you've heard little about and the women who made great changes through the course of history to get you where you are today. I highly recommend this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    A must read!

    I'm 72 and grew up in the 60s...everything Gail Collins writes about pertains to me. And it should to a whole lot of other women, older and younger. A reminder of where women were, where we are now, and where we need to go from here in our private and public lives. Highly readable, entertaining and educational, all rolled into one. Read this and enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2012

    Highly Recommended for those whose time it was!

    Gail Collins weaves the story chroniogically to show us how indeed "everything changed" in the last 40 years, and with stories of everyday women and those famous and lauded. We were all involved and it changed all of us regardlessof our circumstances or politics. I am 57 and remember cutting class in high school to go see Gloria Steinam speak. While my life and views did not change that very day, there began an underlying current that molded me. I am unmarried, very successful professionally with a loving family and wide circle of friends. I am happy. If this were 1958 I would be pitied; today I am happy and envied in many ways. I have these women who went before me to thank for that. Well done, Gail Collins, for putting this incredible history and change into an interesting and very personal narritive.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Update on current book club selection

    Not getting through this book very easily........I lived through most of what it is relating and find it dry. I read primarily for entertainment....m.m..

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2010

    A must read!

    Buy this for all the women and men in your family.

    Today, most women take for granted rights won through very difficult political battles. The history is enlightening and sheds light on previous generations patterns of behavior. You will never look at your Mother or Grandmother's life the same way again.

    A wonderful and often shocking read and a realization that as women, we still have a lot of growth coming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Great overview of women's accomplishments over the past 50 years

    Ms. Collins covers a tremendous amount of ground in "When Everything Changed." The stories that she includes run the gamut from personal interviews and accounts of every day women to historical events involving powerful, influential female figures such as First Lady, Michelle Obama. While each individual story may not go into as much depth or detail as I would have liked, the overview style works to carry the reader from events well before the 1960's through present day. This book is a great read, frankly a must-read for every woman in America. Young women especially can learn a great deal about the gains that women made before them and how their trials are 100% responsible for women's rights today.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    excellent book

    I found this book a fascinating study of the history of women's rights. Since the chapters were divided into short subject sections, it was very readable. Ms. Collins did an excellent job demonstrating the connections of African-Americans and the Civil Rights movement to women's rights. Much of the story is recent history. It was interesting to see how much has changed and how far we still have to go. I did find the final chapters a little skimpy. I would have liked for the author to have delved more into the behavior of young, modern women who seem to use sex and their bodies for attention and self-esteem (sexting, for example, and the rise in breast implants and other plastic surgeries). Women may have more opportunites than ever before but I often feel we are our own worse enemies.

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  • Posted March 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read for Women!

    Can you figure out this answer to this riddle?
    "A man and his son were in a car accident. The man died on the way to the hospital, but the boy was rushed into surgery. The surgeon said "I can't operate, for that's my son!" How is this possible?"

    When I first heard this riddle as a girl in the `70's I was stumped for the answer. Thanks to the women's movement modern girls are probably (hopefully!) quickly able to discern the answer. This is because everything has changed for women. While the glass ceiling still exits and stereotypes abound, generally, women are free to be, do, and own almost anything that was once reserved for men only.

    When Everything Changed by Gail Collins details the historical changes from 1960 to the present, and examines the impact of these events on the lives of ordinary women. As Collins explains, once upon a time, men and women existed in different societal spheres, with men occupying the higher level:

    Then, suddenly, everything changed. The cherished convictions about women and what they could do were smashed in the lifetime of many women living today. It happened so fast that the revolution seemed to be over before either side could really find its way to the barricades. And although the transformation was imperfect and incomplete, it was still astonishing.

    When Everything Changed is an entertaining, but more importantly, a knowledgeable book of recent history that should be read by women of all ages!


    Oh and here is the answer to the riddle: the surgeon is the boy's mother.


    Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 14, 2009), 480 pages
    Review Copy Provided Courtesy of the Publisher.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    When Everything Changed

    A must read! An important and informative work that is also compelling. I couldn't put it down and have been thinking and talking about it ever since finishing it. Gail Collins covers the history of the Women's Movement in the US, and she imparts information of great significance that incredibly has escaped common knowledge: such as, the facts that a woman founded SNCC during the Civil Rights Movement, Nixon vetoed a comprehensive Childcare Bill that had easily passed (with bipartisan support!) both the House and the Senate, and that contrary to popular belief there was NEVER a bra burned by feminists. "When Everything Changed" works as a wonderful resource book as well as a wonderful read.

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  • Posted January 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this book and everything about it.

    This book was really eye opening. I attended an all women's college and learned about some of the things covered in the book, but there was so much I didn't know. I was unaware that women were criticized for wearing slacks, not being able to buy a house or get a loan without a male co-signer, and I now understand why the divorce rate in America is so high. Its because women were once not even allowed to get divorces without some extreme form of abuse from their husband or with his agreement to the divorce. I did think some of the writing was all over the place at times, with the author jumping from one subject to another without some good transitions. This didn't make the book any less interesting or enjoyable to read and I would certainly recommend it to friends. Wonderful book and great research.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful book

    Collins has done an exceptionally clever job of detailing recent history in a way that is both informative and entertaining. I got it for a daughter who had complained she did not know the history of the women's movement and expect it will fill many gaps in her knowledge. The book is fun to read but it also reminds us we are not finished with the task of achieving equality.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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