Trade in your item
Get a $2.86
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Breaking Point:: Why Women Fall Apart and How They Can Re-create Their Lives Hardcover – August 5, 1997


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$19.32 $23.67

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 403 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1 edition (August 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081296375X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812963755
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Behind the elegant power of 300 women relating their life stories lies a naked truth that any woman of any age will instantly comprehend. It is time we created a new world order for humans. Today, Prozac-dependent or not, American women are caught between two societies: the traditional (homemaker, caregiver) and the modern (breadwinner, independent). Neither works. And with a 10-year research study and piercing insights, sociologist Beck eloquently describes the five phases that women work through to achieve honesty, true self, and peace: satori, or the moment of transcendence. Each stage includes gut-wrenching testimonials from women in paralysis (or nearly so), women who have experienced meltdown, and the few who have re-created themselves. A moving yet practical handbook on how to be all you can be. Barbara Jacobs

From Kirkus Reviews

A sociologist's astute insights into the stresses that drive American women to crisis, with a more ingenuous analysis of how those dilemmas are resolved. Beck and her husband (with their three children) bailed out of tenure-track academic positions to write and study independently. Hundreds of interviews with women in the US and Asia, as well as her own personal ``breaking point,'' gave her the material to write this book. It is the sociologist part of her that successfully defines and describes the paradoxical pressures that place contemporary women in a double bind, a paradox left over from the 18th century: Women are encouraged to achieve today, but are still considered ``unfeminine'' when they do; women who adhere to traditional roles are condemned for not being achievers. The ``traditional'' thought of the ``Dark Ages,'' where social stratification was rigid and women were subordinate to men, clashes with the philosophy of the Enlightenment in which ``rational humans'' celebrated equal opportunity. Except that opportunity existed only for white males--women and people of color were (sotto voce) considered ``sub-human.'' Beck portrays five phases that progress from early socialization through the breaking point to a more nebulous description of re-creating the ``true self,'' that includes edgy concepts like ``satori'' and paridigm shifts. She sorts out portraits of several cohorts, from the children of the Depression to Generation X, in terms of the influence of female role mdels. Unfortunately underrated are other monumental cohort experiences, such as WW II, Woodstock, Watergate, and television. A cogent view of the forces that drive many women to radical turning points in their lives. Where to go from there is not so clear. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Martha Beck is a writer and "life coach" who specializes in helping people design satisfying and meaningful life experiences. She holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and master's and Ph.D. degrees in sociology, all from Harvard University.

She worked as a research associate at Harvard Business School, studying career paths and life-course changes in today's economic and social environment. Before becoming a life coach, Dr. Beck taught sociology, social psychology, organizational behaviour, and business management at Harvard and the American Graduate School of International Management. She has published academic books and articles on a variety of social science and business topics.

Her non-academic books include the New York Times bestsellers "Expecting Adam" and "Leaving the Saints", as well as "Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live", "Steering by Starlight", and her newest book, "Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaiming Your True Nature". Dr. Beck has also been a contributing editor for many popular magazines, including "Real Simple" and "Redbook", and is currently a columnist for "O, the Oprah Magazine".

More information can be found at marthabeck.com, including Dr. Beck's lively blog posts and video blogs, books, speaking appearances, and life coaching strategies and suggestions.

Dr. Beck lives in Central California with her family.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
16
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 17 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Trinity on February 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I came up against conflicts and obstacles in my life as a 20-something woman--smart, good-looking, well educated, successful. I had no idea what kept hitting me. There were the reasons everybody cites, but there was something deeper that was insoluble, it seemed to me. I couldn't figure out why I was the only woman I knew who was stopped in her tracks, overwhelmed by the horror of people's expectations and everyone's acceptance of the fact that these expectations all contradicted each other. It was even worse in my 30s. Late 30s, I gave up.

Yup, this is it. This sidesteps all the quick-fix, superficial explanations about how to feel better and be more successful at X, Y, Z as a "modern woman". Most people who write those books have no idea what that is, even though they think they do. This book is funny, smart, honest, well-researched. It sidesteps the typical cliches and categories used by 99% of all who write about women's lives. For that alone, she should get a medal.

A lot of money, time, effort, and grief wasted over the decades in trying to come to the very conclusions Martha Beck describes, but at least that means I know the real thing when I see it. I'm so grateful I came across it. When you've identified the real problem, the solutions you come up with have traction. They work. What a gift, to be pointed in the right direction.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Bockett on November 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Apparently this book did not have the success that Martha Beck's subsequent books have had - perhaps the reason why it is out of print. I have read most of her books, but this one, in my view, surpasses them all; I regard it as a superlative working manual. I agree with previous reviewers that Beck is both scholarly and humorous, but I think the book's greatest strength is the way the author brings together so many women's stories - the rites of passage that we all need to know about for our own sanity. I go to this book not only for validation, but also for much needed refuelling. Beck's analogy of the chrysalis (although other authors have used it) is especially lucid, and is sufficiently empowering on its own. If, as a woman, you are on a personal "vision quest" this book is a great map. Find a second hand copy, and never let it go.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By rdesjardin@aol.com on July 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It's great to know that there are other women who have gone through a "breaking point". I loved the historical perspective on women's roles in society and how industrialization has changed how men and women relate to each other, the family and the community. I bought this book some time ago after seeing Ms. Beck on a talk show. I think it's time I reread it and rediscover the wisdom in its pages. If you can get your hands on a copy, buy it!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
You have to read this book. It goes into the different generations of women and how men perceive our roles in society. So many women these days are trying to work full time in high stress jobs plus take care of the house and kids. For all of you women who are at the "Breaking Point" trying to please everyone and wearing yourself out in the process, you gotta get this book. It will really open your eyes.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By amy childs on March 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have never written a book review before, and may never write a book review again, but I simply could not resist the opportunity to let everyone who will listen know that this book is The Book For The 21st Century. Buy it. Read it. Then buy 6 more and send it to all your friends.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Godmother on August 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book says everything I have thought for the past 20 years (and no one else seemed to understand). It is such a relief to know that I am not the only woman aware of the paradoxical rolls placed on women in our society. The advent of the Women's Rights movement opened new opportunities for women but also placed them in dual, incompatible rolls that tear women apart. This book explains all of that and gives hope that our society will eventually recognize this dilemma and discover ways out of the breaking point.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've read her most recent works and have immensely enjoyed the bright and kind wit of Martha Beck. This book is scholarly, hard-hitting and wise; I found myself nodding deeply more than once with a deep "Aha!" of recognition. She is nothing short of wonderful and her books are excellent!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Beck's fascinating and funny look at american

women is a wonderfully entertaining and educational book.
Beck has captured the voices of the real "silent majority" of women
in America today. I think this is a groundbreaking book that will help women to make sense of their lives. It is both honest

and hopeful. Overzealous feminists (I do consider myself a feminist) and uptight right wing fundamentalists will hate this book.
Beck refuses to cling to an idealogy, rather she explores the "real" lives of women and draws remarkably refreshing and enlightening conclusions.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search