"What has happened to me over the course of the past seven decades has in one way or another happened to many if not all present-day American women -- from the almost dizzyingly rapid ringing of changes to the discover of that in our lives which is never changing."
This beautifully written book offers a memorable chronicle of American life since the 1940s that is hard to match in sweep, unconventional thought, and hard-won wisdom on subjects ranging from the relations between the sexes to the relations between America and the world.
One of the nation's most renowned female conservatives, Midge Decter is known for her frequently controversial stands on modern social issues. An Old Wife's Tale is her thoughtful examination of the lives of American women and men over the last sixty years, as viewed through the lens of her own life. From stories of her youth during World War II -- when Decter and her friends learned that "only the class beauty and the class tramp had no difficulty with the dating system" -- to a surprising and often hilarious picture of what the 1950s were really like to an account of her later roles as a single mother, publishing executive, happily married woman, political iconoclast, and doting grandmother, Decter paints a singular portrait of a life lived on the front lines of American culture.
By turns serious, wry, and deeply personal, An Old Wife's Tale brings us an important new perspective on twentieth-century American life.
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Midge Decter is an author and editor whose essays and reviews have appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic, National Review, The New Republic, and The Weekly Standard. A regular contributor to Commentary, she is also the author of several books, the most recent being An Old Wife's Tale. She is a member of the board of the Heritage Foundation, the Center for Security Policy, First Things magazine of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, and the Clare Boothe Luce Fund, and she lectures widely on a variety of subjects, from the family to foreign policy. She lives in New York City with her husband, author Norman Podhoretz.From Publishers Weekly:
Under cover of a memoir, Decter, a politically conservative columnist and author (Liberal Parents, Radical Children), has a lot of fun railing at two of her favorite targets: feminists and communists. A right wing fixture in many debates with feminists (whom she refers to as "libbers") in the 1970s, she still can't figure out what possible complaint women could harbor against their position in society. Although she obviously enjoyed working in the literary field while raising children, the former executive editor of Harper's now wishes she had waited until her youngest was in high school. In addition to swipes at Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and lesbians at large, she also ventures the unpopular opinion that housework is "nourishing" and blames the 1960s and '70s women's movement for self-destructive trends, such as anorexia, that afflict girls today. Her hostility toward communists led Decter to form the Committee for a Free World (now disbanded), composed of conservative thinkers, to provide journalistic support for worldwide economic and political freedom. The ideological rants in this very readable and occasionally witty account will be of great interest to many conservative readers, but Decter's personal, less caustic recollections, especially those about her four children, 10 grandchildren and longtime husband, Norman Podhoretz (also a prominent conservative intellectual), have a wider appeal. Agent, Lynne Chu. (Sept.) Forecast: Sure to attract reviews, this feisty memoir is slated for a 15-city NPR campaign and author appearances in New York City.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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