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The Second Stage: With a New Introduction Paperback – May 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0674796553 ISBN-10: 0674796551
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The Second Stage: With a New Introduction + The Fountain of Age + Life So Far: A Memoir
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Editorial Reviews


The right book at the right time. The Second Stage is intelligent, compassionate, and pertinent. It's an education. And it provides a course of action. (Washington Post Book World)

Friedan's second major theoretical statement--important for what it says and essential when considered against the background of her past accomplishments. (Library Journal)

About the Author

Betty Friedan was a founder and first president of the National Organization for Women, and convener of the National Women's Political Caucus and the National Abortion Rights Action League. She is author of The Feminine Mystique, The Second Stage, and The Fountain of Age. She is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at Cornell.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 394 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674796551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674796553
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #936,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on September 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Betty Friedan (1921-2006) was an American writer, activist, and feminist, who became one of the leading figures of the feminist movement with the publication of her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique. She was founder of, and first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW). She also wrote Fountain of Age, Life So Far: A Memoir, It Changed My Life: Writings on the Women's Movement, and Beyond Gender: The New Politics of Work and Family.

She wrote in the "Acknowledgements" section of this 1981 book, "This book evolved slowly in my consciousness over the last ten years as I was involved in the exhilarating actions and the disturbing impasses of the women's movement, and as I was beginning to formulate, in my teaching, writing, and conversations with personal friends, the concepts of what I came to call the second stage... While my original sense that we must move now into the second stage came from my personal questions and observations of the conflicts of the young and not-so-young women, and men, trying to live in terms of first-stage feminism, the emergence of full-scale backlash with and after the Reagan election in 1980, when I was halfway through this book, gave enormous political immediacy to my task.
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8 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L O'connor on August 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
In 'The Femine Mystique' Betty Friedan told us that housewives were responsible for all the ills of modern society. Idle and underoccupied at home, we turned our malignant attentions to smothering our husbands and children with unwanted attention, meddling in their lives, making them miserable, and generally behaving in a thoroughly destructive manner.

In this book however, she not only blames us for all the ills of modern soceity, she also tells us that we are to blame for the Trojan War, which personally I think is going a bit too far (apparently if Agamemnon, Menelaus etc had had career women for mothers, they would never have thought of going to war against Troy).

Although in the Feminine Mystique she told us that housework was so easy it could be done in an hour, leaving plenty of time for women to have careers without troubling men for any help around the house, she here seems to have changed her mind, and tells us that men should help around the house, and indeed with childcare too (something she never troubles to mention at all in her first book, as far as I can remember). she is quite unrepentent about having said otherwise in her first book though, there is no "oops, I was wrong about that" or any such similar comment.

However, despite the fact that she now acknowledges that the housewife's life is not quite as easy as she formerly suggested, she still doesn't like us much. The sentiment is, as far as I am concerned, reciprocated.
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