When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present (Paperback)
November 2009 Indie Next List
“Gail Collins, a New York Times columnist, interviewed hundreds of people from not only the women's movement but, also, the civil rights movement, and her history encompasses the major events from the 1950s to the present, putting society's changes into context. This amazing book is necessary reading for everyone.”
— Barbara Hoagland, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
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 the Author
"Did feminism fail? Gail Collins's smart, thorough, often droll and extremely readable account of women's recent history in America not only answers this question brilliantly, but also poses new ones about the past and the present."—Amy Bloom, The New York Times Book Review
"What better time to look at American women's progress since the '60s, now that the dust has settled on the 2008 presidential election when so much was won (and lost) by women?... Gail Collins's near epic history When Everything Changed...also captures the playfulness and humor in women's advancement."—Elizabeth Toohey, The Christian Science Monitor
"'The past is a foreign country' is the kind of hallowed quotation that's resolutely opaque until you stumble on something that drives home its emotional truth. The uncanny feeling it references is that one that recurs frequently as you read When Everything Changed, the absorbing history of feminism and American women's lives by Gail Collins, the resident editorial fount of wry Midwestern common sense at The New York Times.... What Collins does, which so pitiably few pop-history writers do, is bring the stories, the anecdotes that come to life and pull you in."—Ben Dickinson, Elle
"Provides a sweeping, fascinating look at modern women in our country.... It may be a history book, but When Everything Changed reads like a page-turning saga, a race through the years to learn how we got here."—Eliza Borné, BookPage.com
"In a fascinating history, Gail Collins goes behind the scenes of the women's rights movement.... When Everything Changed provides a sweeping, fascinating look at modern women in our country. Filled with facts, court cases and legislation, the book is rich with personal anecdotes. Collins and her researchers interviewed more than 100 women for this history, and for many contemporary readers, their findings will be startling and sometimes heartbreaking.... The end of her book will make many readers swell with pride--it features updates on the lives of the interview subjects featured in the book, many of whom went on to break barriers for many years. The story their lives helped write--of American women from the 1960s to today--is inspiring and compelling."—Eliza Borné, BookPage
"Women aren't nostalgic for the old days. If anyone is, just watch a few episodes of "Mad Men" as an antidote, with its suffocated Mad Wife Betty Draper and its slapped-down Working Woman Peggy Olsen. If you prefer nonfiction, leaf through the early chapters of Gail Collins's history When Everything Changed to those magical yesteryears when a flight attendant was weighed, measured, and hired to be a flying geisha."—Ellen Goodman, The Seattle Times