When Everything Changed by Gail Collins
The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

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Synopsis

Gail Collins, New York Times columnist and bestselling author, recounts the astounding revolution in women's lives over the past 50 years, with her usual "sly wit and unfussy style" (People).

When Everything Changed begins in 1960, when most American women had to get their husbands' permission to apply for a credit card. It ends in 2008 with Hillary Clinton's historic presidential campaign. This was a time of cataclysmic change, when, after four hundred years, expectations about the lives of American women were smashed in just a generation.

A comprehensive mix of oral history and Gail Collins's keen research--covering politics, fashion, popular culture, economics, sex, families, and work--When Everything Changed is the definitive book on five crucial decades of progress. The enormous strides made since 1960 include the advent of the birth control pill, the end of "Help Wanted--Male" and "Help Wanted--Female" ads, and the lifting of quotas for women in admission to medical and law schools. Gail Collins describes what has happened in every realm of women's lives, partly through the testimonies of both those who made history and those who simply made their way.

Picking up where her highly lauded book America's Women left off, When Everything Changed is a dynamic story, told with the down-to-earth, amusing, and agenda-free tone for which this beloved New York Times columnist is known. Older readers, men and women alike, will be startled as they are reminded of what their lives once were--"Father Knows Best" and "My Little Margie" on TV; daily weigh-ins for stewardesses; few female professors; no women in the Boston marathon, in combat zones, or in the police department. Younger readers will see their history in a rich new way. It has been an era packed with drama and dreams--some dashed and others realized beyond anyone's imagining.
 

About Gail Collins

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Gail Collins was the Editorial Page Editor for the New York Times from 2001-2007--the first woman to have held that position. She currently writes a column for the Time's Op-Ed page twice weekly.
 
Published September 22, 2009 by Little, Brown and Company. 480 pages
Genres: History, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for When Everything Changed

Kirkus Reviews

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From the opening anecdote of a woman expelled from traffic court in 1960 for appearing in slacks, to the closing one of a woman fired from her job as a bus driver in 2007 for refusing to wear slacks, this an engrossing account of how not just the daily lives, but the assumptions and expectations ...

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The New York Times

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And her sensible acknowledgment of the problems that remain — the low percentage of women serving as chief executives or as partners in law firms, recent discrimination suits against Wal-Mart and Goodyear — suggests that a more accurate title for her book might have been “When Some Things Chang...

Oct 20 2009 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

The New York Times

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A Times columnist’s thorough, smart and often wry account of American women’s strides and the hurdles they still face.

Oct 18 2009 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

Publishers Weekly

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You've come a long way, baby: that's Collins's conclusion about American women, who once lacked the right to publicly wear pants and now take their place on the presidential campaign trail and the battlefield.

Aug 31 2009 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

NPR

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In When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, author Gail Collins chronicles the transformation of women in society. Many of today's career advances were created by market forces, she says.

Oct 14 2009 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

NPR

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In When Everything Changed, Gail Collins outlines the way the women's liberation movement transformed of the lives of women in the United States. Reviewer Glenn Altschuler says Collins takes on topics from the Pill to Sarah Palin.

Oct 14 2009 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

NPR

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A report on women in management by Harvard Business Review in the 1960s said there were so few such women that "there is scarcely anything to study."

Oct 09 2009 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

Book Reporter

Collins spends much of her time discussing women in law, politics and journalism, and there is little mention of women in cultural milieus such as art and music.

Apr 27 2011 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

Christian Science Monitor

In a year in which audiences have been captivated by Mad Men’s exploration of the early 1960s and Julia Child’s foray into the male-dominated world of Le Cordon Bleu, it seems Americans can’t get enough of postwar culture and its constraints, especially as they apply to gender.

Oct 29 2009 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

“The postwar economy created a demand for women workers, and the postindustrial economy created jobs that they were particularly suited to fill.

Jan 03 2010 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

The Atlantic

But then again, it is a time in which the popular media still objectify women as babes or ball-busters, in which movies eschew strong female leading roles (unless they are dead women aviators or Queens), and magazine covers still favor tall blondes.

Oct 26 2009 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

Women's Voices for Change

The two women onstage, Lynn Yeakel and Gail Collins — Yeakel, a Drexel University professor and the woman who challenged Senator Arlen Specter in 1992, and Collins, the first female editor of The New York Times editorial page — were familiar faces to the women and men of varying ages who filled ...

Mar 18 2012 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

SeniorWomen.com

She points out that young women may consider many of these scenarios quaint, after all, they now make up approximately fifty percent of the students in law schools, but until they trace the steps of the women in the book, they cannot know the humiliation and difficulty that prior women endured be...

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Alternative Control

Some men held him while white women clawed his face with their nails… And they held up their little children — children who couldn’t have been more than a couple years old — to claw his face.” Collins ends the book without making declarative statements about women’s current place in society.

Aug 15 2012 | Read Full Review of When Everything Changed: The ...

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