Big Girls Don't Cry by Rebecca Traister
The Election that Changed Everything for American Women

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Journalist and Salon writer Rebecca Traister investigates the 2008 presidential election and its impact on American politics, women and cultural feminism. Examining the role of women in the campaign, from Clinton and Palin to Tina Fey and young voters, Traister confronts the tough questions of what it means to be a woman in today’s America.

The 2008 campaign for the presidency reopened some of the most fraught American conversations—about gender, race and generational difference, about sexism on the left and feminism on the right—difficult discussions that had been left unfinished but that are crucial to further perfecting our union. Though the election didn’t give us our first woman president or vice president, the exhilarating campaign was nonetheless transformative for American women and for the nation. In Big Girls Don’t Cry, her electrifying, incisive and highly entertaining first book, Traister tells a terrific story and makes sense of a moment in American history that changed the country’s narrative in ways that no one anticipated.

Throughout the book, Traister weaves in her own experience as a thirtysomething feminist sorting through all the events and media coverage—vacillating between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and questioning her own view of feminism, the women’s movement, race and the different generational perspectives of women working toward political parity. Electrifying, incisive and highly entertaining, Big Girls Don’t Cry offers an enduring portrait of dramatic cultural and political shifts brought about by this most historic of American contests.

About Rebecca Traister

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Rebecca Traister, a staff writer for, covered the 2008 campaign from a feminist (and personal) perspective, receiving a huge response to her pieces on Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, the media's coverage of the candidates, and the role of women within the media. She has written for a range of national publications, including Elle, the New York Times, Vogue, and the Nation. Traister has appeared on CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, NPR's The Brian Lehrer Show, and others, and she speaks regularly at prominent events. She lives in Brooklyn. Kirsten Potter, a graduate of the Boston University School for the Arts, has performed on stage, film, and television, including roles on Medium, Bones, and Judging Amy. An award-winning audiobook narrator, Kirsten has won AudioFile Earphones Awards for her reading of The Snowball by Alice Schroeder and her performance as Barbara in George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara. Her other titles include The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley, Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson, Sammy's House by Kristen Gore, and Madapple by Christina Meldrum, which was a Booklist Editors' Choice for Best Audiobook 2008. Kirsten has received recognition from the American Academy of Achievement and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, as well as numerous regional awards.
Published September 14, 2010 by Free Press. 352 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Big Girls Don't Cry

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Salon staff writer Traister makes the compelling argument that the 2008 election campaign changed the role of women in national politics.

Aug 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Big Girls Don't Cry: The Elec...

The New York Times

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A colorful, emotional argument that the 2008 election gave feminism a thrilling “new life.”

Sep 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Big Girls Don't Cry: The Elec...


But despite her feelings about Palin, Traister still had to point out the sexism Palin underwent as well, even from liberal, feminist websites.

Apr 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Big Girls Don't Cry: The Elec...

The New Yorker

Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925

Nov 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Big Girls Don't Cry: The Elec...

Women's Voices for Change

We all know deep in our hearts if we want to be loved we have to lose.” Steinem never thought Clinton could win, but Traister never doubted the possibility that she might: “The difference between Steinem’s and my perspective on possibility demonstrated the changes in four decades in America.” Old...

Nov 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Big Girls Don't Cry: The Elec...

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