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The Feminine Mystique (50th Anniversary Edition) 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393063790
ISBN-10: 0393063798
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.” (Arianna Huffington - O Magazine)

“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.” (Nanette Fondas - The Atlantic)

“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.” (Andi Zeisler - Salon)

About 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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (February 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393063798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393063790
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What surprised me the most when reading this 50th anniversary edition of the Feminine Mystique was how much of it still describes our society today. People may think of the Feminine Mystique as a part of the past, but upon taking another look, you may find that more of it rings true today than you would have thought. This is an important work that needs continual study so that women can continue to make strides forward towards true equality.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Published in the 1960s, Friedan crafted an analysis of the mysterious "problem with no name," a phenomenon that was affecting women in the post-WWII era and beyond. According to Friedan, women were universally experiencing similar and alarming symptoms - depression, anger, addictions, low self-esteem, a vague sense of unfulfillment, ennui, and in extreme cases, suicide. What was causing this epidemic? Friedan proposed that they were suffering from a complaint she labeled "the feminine mystique."
It was a time of joy for all as soldiers returned victorious from WWII and immediately tried to forget the past behind them by returning to the workforce, marrying their childhood sweethearts, and beginning families in the beautiful new houses of 1950s American suburbia. The image of the happy housewife was propagated by society, and soon women began to believe happiness stemmed from being the perfect wife and mother, keeping their houses clean, and ignoring anything else that would distract them from that view. Unfortunately, this was not working, and no one seemed to have an answer for them until <The Feminine Mystique> hit the shelves.

*Spoilers:

<The Feminine Mystique> only gets a two-star rating primarily because Friedan's presentation of the facts was skewed and secondly because the solution to the problems she outlined ignored some classes of women and actually exploited another. The universal language of the work leads readers to believe that all women suffered from the same issues when in reality her group consisted of educated, white, middle-class, married women with children who had no occupation other than housekeeping.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my 15 year old daughter but read it first. Wow this book is an important read. Despite the fact it is about women's experience I feel the topic has relevance for a much wider modern audience who are struggling with identity and manipulation in this corporate based society. I am so glad I have armed my daughter with this book and its advice
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Format: Hardcover
This book was first published in 1963. The National Organization for Women was founded by Betty Friedan and others in 1966. But the various radical groups of women date to around 1967 or '68, with the first mass demonstrations on Aug, 26, 1970 (the 50th anniversary of women winning the right to vote). I was at the demonstration of around 35,000 in New York City. I had by 1970 read the book, and I had also read the first edition in pamphlet form of the book Problems of Women's Liberation. It was written by the Marxist anthropologist Evelyn Reed, and contained essays and speeches written between 1954 and 1970.

Below are excerpts from her essay on The Feminine Mystique, which is included in that book:

The Feminine Mystique is an outstanding sociological study -- an overdue challenge to the mercenary mythmakers who have invented the glorified image of the Happy Housewife Heroine and imposed it upon American women.

"The author, a mother of three children, analyzes the plight of women like herself who belong to the privileged upper middle strata of American society. Most women have no choice except to be tied to a household or chained to a factory or office job -- or both. But the women that Betty Friedan examines are more fortunate. They have access to all the advantages of our culture -- education, scholarship, interesting and well-paying professions. And yet most of them have forfeited development of their higher capacities to enroll in the ranks listed as: "Occupation: housewife."

"Exposed by the author are the realities behind the show-windows of Suburbia where female residents suffer agonies from "a problem that has no name.
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Format: Hardcover
Awesome book. Revamped and brought back to us in the 2000's. The wonderful thing about life now; is we as women change chose exactly what we want. We can be at home moms and housewives and its okay if its what we chose and NOT what is expected. We can be career women or both. This book bring courage and gives a name to how the UN-named problem women had back in the 60's. They done as expected and were afraid to talk about or change what tore them down as a person and woman. Back then women dealt with "That's not very lady like or feminine." Now... we bend feminine to who we are it fits us not the other way around.
I imagine a lot of women read these pages in the 60's and seen them self there printed on the page and suddenly knew... they were not alone, there was nothing wrong with them. This edition still offers courage and acceptance to be who you are and not what others want you to be... Every teen girl should read this as they embark on life and who they are beginning to become.
I received this book via goodreads and was very pleased and honored to have had the opportunity to read and own and SHARE
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