Betty Friedan and the Making of "The Feminine Mystique": The American Left, the Cold War, and Modern Feminism (Culture, Politics and the Cold War)

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9781558492769: Betty Friedan and the Making of

Ever since the 1963 publication of her landmark book, The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan has insisted that her commitment to women's rights grew out of her experiences as an alienated suburban housewife. Yet as Daniel Horowitz persuasively demonstrates in this illuminating and provocative biography, the roots of Friedan's feminism run much deeper than she has led us to believe. Drawing on an impressive body of new research―including Friedan's own papers―Horowitz traces the development of Friedan's feminist outlook from her childhood in Peoria, Illinois, through her wartime years at Smith College and Berkeley, to her decade-long career as a writer for two of the period's most radical labor journals, the Federated Press and the United Electrical Workers' UE News. He further shows that even after she married and began to raise a family, Friedan continued during the 1950s to write and work on behalf of a wide range of progressive social causes. By resituating Friedan within a broader cultural context, and by offering a fresh reading of The Feminine Mystique against that background, Horowitz not only overturns conventional ideas about "second wave" feminism but also reveals long submerged links to its past.

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About the Author:

Daniel Horowitz is Mary Higgins Gamble Professor of American Studies and director of the American studies program at Smith College. He is author of Vance Packard and American Social Criticism.

Review:

"An engaging and often arresting narrative, highly effective in portraying the evolution of Friedan's thinking. This book will certainly change common assumptions about the origins of The Feminine Mystique."―Nancy F. Cott, Yale University

"A book that will be read, enjoyed, pondered, and debated. It is literate, broadly grounded in the intellectual and political currents of the era, reflects meticulous and imaginative sleuthing in archival sources, and is written in graceful and accessible prose."―Dorothy Sue Cobble, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

"A compelling story. The melding of genres―biography, exposé, historical monograph―should make the book useful in classrooms and also enhance its readership outside the university. . . . The book will make a big splash in and out of the historical profession."―Joanne Meyerowitz, editor of Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-1960

"Horowitz's careful reconstruction of Friedan's radical past exposes unexpected continuities between generations of radical thinkers and activists, and forces a reconsideration of the oft-noted class and racial limitations of Friedan's book. His argument―judiciously framed yet bold in its implications―is built upon a meticulous piecing together of sometimes fragmentary evidence, and insures that we will never again see Friedan and the movement she came to stand for in quite the same ways."―Lois Palken Rudnick, author of Utopian Vistas: The Mabel Dodge Luhan House and the American Counterculture

"Betty Friedan and the Making of "The Feminine Mystique" is ... intelligently ambitious but so tendentious you want to throw it across the room."―Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times Book Review

"[The Feminine Mystique] now feels both revolutionary and utterly contemporary. . . . Four decades later, millions of individual transformations later, there is still so much to learn from this book. . . . Those who think of it as solely a feminist manifesto ought to revisit its pages to get a sense of the magnitude of the research and reporting Friedan undertook."―Anna Quindlen

"The book that pulled the trigger on history."―Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock

"One of those rare books we are endowed with only once in several decades."―Amitai Etzioni, author of The Spirit of Community: The Reinvention of American Society

"[A] bridge between conservative and radical elements in feminism, an ardent advocate of harmony and human values."―Esquire

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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. This biography of Betty Friedan traces the development of her feminist outlook from her childhood in Illinois to her marriage. Horowitz offers a reading of The Feminine Mystique and argues that the roots of Friedan s feminism run deeper than she has led us to believe. The links between the Popular Front of feminism of the Old Left and the New Left feminism of the 1960s is delineated, thereby casting doubt on the claims of novelty that many have made about social movements of the 1960s. He illuminates important details by mining everything from her papers while a student as Smith College, to her articles for the labour press. Horowitz advances the historiography with descriptions of women s experiences of left-wing politics and culture in the 1940s and 1950s and by limning Friedan s place within that context. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781558492769

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