When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins
On the library stacks: Adult Non-fiction
Series: Follow up to America's Women
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Gail Collins, a writer for the New York Times, has taken on the daunting task of recounting the history of women in America, from the very first days until the most recent events of the 2008 election. I really loved the first book, America's Women, which covers the Colonial Period until 1960. This book picks right up where she left off, on the precipice of the feminist movement.
The bulk of the book is spent on the 1960s and 1970s, the events of which really paved the way for what has happened in the history of women in this country since. This book gave historical context to the lives of my grandmothers and my mother, which has in turn greatly affected my opportunities, choices, and value system. I appreciated getting an overall view of how much has changed in such a short period of time, and learning more about the individuals who spearheaded change.
However, this book uses a lot of anecdotal evidence which is where is broke down for me in parts. I felt the format gave the author a chance to put a leftist spin on things and sometimes I really felt the opposing views could have been better represented. (It also seemed like all the women ended up in law school!) Having said that, I really enjoyed learning more about women and the Civil Rights movement and the catalysts for change in education, work and family life for women through the years.
This book was not a page-turner for me, but it has certainly got me thinking. I know I'll enjoy discussing it with my book club.
7 hours ago