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Midlife Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation--And What to Do about It Hardcover – March 18, 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Successful, high-energy media professionals Macko (a CNBC producer) and Rubin (a CNN producer) sensed there was a problem plaguing women of a certain age-the early 30s. So many of them were wondering, in the midst of lives that were supposedly on track, why they felt "so miserable." In Part One of this volume, the authors attempt to identify and label the components of 30-something angst, which include changing career parameters, the question of when (or whether) to get married and have a family, and how to find real fulfillment versus a great-paying job. Then anecdotes from real women comfort readers by helping them realize that they aren't alone in their difficult-to-define struggles. Even better, however, are the stories from well-known women in Part Two, "The New Girls Club: Your Dream of Mentors." In this section, women like Judy Blume, fitness guru Denise Austen and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison explain how they dealt with the issues facing them in their 30s and, in many cases, tell readers how they completely re-vamped their lives to become hugely successful, personally and professionally. These triumphant stories should inspire women in their 30s, and anyone else contemplating a serious life overhaul.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“As I read Midlife at 30, I felt a wave of relief: I'm not the only one in a panic at the doorstep of my 30th birthday! It's about time someone exposed the underside of 'having it all' and the pressure to follow in our supermoms' steps.” ―Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (March 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579548679
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579548674
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,421,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When I first started reading this book, I raved about it and told all my friends that they would have to read it. I'm having my own midlife crisis at 33 because I'm facing gender discrimination in my career, which is blocking me from achieving what I want and know I can do. I was agonizing over making a drastic career change, when my incredibly supportive husband bought this book for me. He thought it would help to know I wasn't alone in my unhappiness.
And it did help. We Gen-X women were brought up to believe that equality had been achieved and if only we work hard enough we could do whatever we want. And when we don't accomplish all of our dreams, we tend to blame ourselves, instead of the system. At the same time, our entire generation is agonizing about spending too much time at work and missing out on a life.
But somewhere in the middle, it became tedious. It took me forever to finish, because I grew tired of reading yet another story about an ultra-successful woman with baby fever. As a woman who loves children but doesn't want any of her own, the book lost me. A few things actually bothered me, like the "Baby Envy" section and a general sense that the only women faced with work/life crises were mothers. There are plenty of women that struggle to find a balance between career and family, even if that family is a husband, siblings, or close friends.
I wish the authors had more analysis of what's causing the pervasive work/life imbalances and how we should stick together to make a change for all of us.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is for women who have or want to have children. Period. I am 29 years old, and do not hear a biological clock ticking. In fact, the older I get, the less I want children. I knew the book would touch on motherhood, but I was hoping it wasn't the main drive of the book. Instead I read page after page of women whining about how to juggle a career and a family. If that is something you're struggling with, then by all means, get this book. If you're not thinking about motherhood, and especially if you are child-free by choice, don't waste your time.
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Format: Hardcover
While this is an excellant book if you are a career woman, the authors make one huge mistake. They write that a woman's life phases follows this order 1.Work 2.Marriage 3.Kids. They never met me, because my life has followed this order. 1.Kid 2.Marriage 3.Work? I write work with a question mark because I am a 29 year old stay-at-home mother who realizes that I should have gone to college and had a career too. I didn't go to college because I got pregnant and married when I was 18 (and had three more children over the years) and have been a homemaker ever since. Now as I approach 30, I find myself yearning for a career, not a baby. I did find the story about Judy Blume inspiring because she was a stay-at-home mom at thirty and later became a writer. I am an aspiring writer as well. But the rest of the book just wasn't what I was looking for.
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Format: Hardcover
It might strike one as rather odd that I, a committed member of the male gender with his feet firmly planted in the category of senior citizen, should be reviewing a book that is more or less intended for the young female member of the present generation whose feet are barely planted on the ground. But sometimes one is asked to do what appears at first to be somewhat strange, which later turns out to be both an interesting and insightful encounter.

Such is the case with this book by two successful and experienced journalists, Lia Macko and Kerry Rubin, about the midlife-crisis problem which seems to affect many professional women at around the age of thirty or so in American society today. I won't pretend for a moment that I can directly and intimately relate to the specific situations they describe, but I can at least glimpse some of its enigmas, frustrations, and ramifications since many of us men go through a similar, albeit not exact, form of personal crisis usually around the age of forty or so. Alas, as with puberty, the females reach this life-challenging singularity before we males do.

The midlife crisis discussed in this book is grounded on the fact that a significant number of the fifty-eight million young women of what is now called Generation X/Y seem to undergo powerful conflicts in their work/life circumstances and at a very early age in their careers. This is occurring even before marriage and children are part of the situation.
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Format: Hardcover
An ex actually gave this book to me just after my 30th. I thought the name was awful and so removed the cover to take it on a business trip with me.

Early into this book I almost started crying... out of a sense of relief that I am not the only one who feels this way. Approaching 30 and successful in my career, I felt somewhat isolated and unable to put my finger on the problem.

Reading this book I realize I am not a minority in having placed importance on career and brushed aside the notion of finding a mate, subconsciously believing that would happen on its own. Our mothers paved the way for us to over-achieve and we have done so, but at what price?

Through this book I realized that as hard as I have worked to have a successful career, I have to work equally as hard if I want a successful relationship with another person. Expecting it would just happen by now is all wrong.

I realized that the problems I face on a daily basis are not specific to me, but are generational in nature and it has helped me better understand what is going on with me and those around me. It has also helped me better find the problem so I could set about fixing it in my own life.

I have loaned this book out many times and the response I get from my friends mirrors that of my own. I highly recommend this book to any woman who finds herself wildly successful in career and social circles but oddly alone on Firday night and not entirely certain why.
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