Monday, June 28, 2010

When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

Book Club... And Then Some!

When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present             

by Gail Collins

Book Review by
Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.
In this 481-page book, there are 30 pages of notes and an 11-page bibliography.  This gives you an idea of the thoroughness of the book.

Gail Collins was the editorial page editor for the New York Times from 2001 to 2007, the first woman to have held that position, and she currently writes a column for the Times’ op-ed page.  It goes without saying that she is an excellent writer, and every page of her book reflects her skills and easy-to-read style.

This book is a wonderful and important chronology as well as a terrific reference work that is full of insights, stories, historical facts, important information, and inspiration.  Her stories of real women (including Hilary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Obama—and others we don’t know) make the book even more interesting. Of the personal interviews, one reviewer writes, “[they]  portray the details of the daily lives of American women of the era. This is not library research. It is woman to woman sharing of memories, frustrations and small victories that took place as ‘everything changed’”
Whether you lived through it, read about it in other books, or are new to the area of feminism and women’s rights, there is something in this book for you.

Carol M. Frohlinger, in her review, writes, “From June Cleaver to Hillary Clinton, Gail Collins` new book, When Everything Changed, reminds us of both how much everything has changed for American women in the last 50 years and just how little. Collins writes skillfully about the ‘olden’ days when a glamour career for a woman was to be a stewardess and when the reason most women went to college to get a ‘Mrs..’”

Frohlinger continues her review saying, “What Collins does particularly well though is to highlight that there still isn't gender parity in America's workplaces or homes. She ends on a note that celebrates how far we've come with a reality check - the gender pay gap still exists, too few women serve as CEOs or sit on corporate boards and the work-life balance conundrum has yet to be resolved.”

This is the kind of book that should be required reading for everyone—not just women.  It is intellectually stimulating, completely enjoyable, and a reminder of what women have yet to accomplish. 


This book is available from When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present.

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