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

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

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...

DownloadRead Online
Title:When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present
Author:Gail Collins
Rating:
Edition Language:English

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

  • Kristy Miller

    I was reading this book in October of 2016. I could only read about 10 pages at a time before I could feel my blood pressure going up, and the rage reaching a boiling point. And then the election happened. I was too lost in despair to continue the book, and I set it aside. Well, the despair is gone, but the rage is still here. I don't know if that will ever really leave. But I am ready to channel the anger.

    This book has 3 parts. The first part describes the 1950's and early 1960's, and the

    I was reading this book in October of 2016. I could only read about 10 pages at a time before I could feel my blood pressure going up, and the rage reaching a boiling point. And then the election happened. I was too lost in despair to continue the book, and I set it aside. Well, the despair is gone, but the rage is still here. I don't know if that will ever really leave. But I am ready to channel the anger.

    This book has 3 parts. The first part describes the 1950's and early 1960's, and the status quo for women. The 2nd part is the largest part, and it describes the 1960's and 1970's, when everything changed for women. The final part describes the 1980's to 2009, when the book was published, and the struggles that face the generations that followed the women's movement. Collins uses a lot of interviews with women, famous and not, to catch the important moments and movements of the time. She does a pretty good job of balancing the different struggles for black and white women, and the tensions between black and white women during the civil rights movement. Stories are also included from Hispanic and Latina women, and some Native American women.

    This book is uplifting, because a lot improved for women in a relatively short period of time. My Mom always gets amused at my righteous anger, and asks if I think that any progress is good. I do. I guess my frustration and anger comes from the fact that very little has changed since the 1980's and 1990's, and lately I feel like we're going backwards. Women are mostly still seen as being responsible for childcare and household chores. Pay equality is still a struggle. Many men still have issues with women in power, of which there are not enough. It's been 46 years since the ERA was passed by congress. I'm 36 and I doubt that it will ever be ratified in my lifetime. I just don't have faith in America anymore. I hope that changes. I hope that America proves me wrong. But I'm not holding my breath.

  • Megan

    This is a personable, insightful look at "the women's movement". Really she covers more than from 1960, in order to compare the later half of the century to the times before it. Collins does a nice job of putting efforts for gender equality into historical context; in particular, I enjoyed her writing on how it interacted with the civil rights movement. While not perfectly universal in her approach, Collins also does a decent job of bringing in the experience of not only middle- or upper-class

    This is a personable, insightful look at "the women's movement". Really she covers more than from 1960, in order to compare the later half of the century to the times before it. Collins does a nice job of putting efforts for gender equality into historical context; in particular, I enjoyed her writing on how it interacted with the civil rights movement. While not perfectly universal in her approach, Collins also does a decent job of bringing in the experience of not only middle- or upper-class East Coast women, but women of different classes, education levels, and from other parts of the country. It was also interesting to hear how women who started working in women's issues in the 50s and 60s see the fruits of their labors fifty years later. A reasonably fair assessment of successes and failures in the women's movement and also a decent look at the diversity of the women's movement itself are provided, along with the long-term effects on politics and pop culture. There's also some fascinating court cases - I'm kind of a judicial branch geek. A very approachable and valuable look at women's history in America for the last 60 years.

  • Elizabeth Hall

    Holy smokin moley. Please, please, pretty please with freedom on top, read When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, by Gail Collins. Read it and remember your foremothers—your great-grandmother, your grandmother, your mother. Read it and weep. Read it and sing. And then tell your friends to read it. This book will make you want to finish history, because it will tell you what history is—and remind you, in the skin of your own life, why history

    Holy smokin moley. Please, please, pretty please with freedom on top, read When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, by Gail Collins. Read it and remember your foremothers—your great-grandmother, your grandmother, your mother. Read it and weep. Read it and sing. And then tell your friends to read it. This book will make you want to finish history, because it will tell you what history is—and remind you, in the skin of your own life, why history needs now: so she can finish herself, and rest. If you were alive for the women’s rights movement, When Everything Changed will stand as a testimony to your experience; if you weren’t, you will be able to place your own life in context like never before.

    The book is divided into three parts: 1960, When Everything Changed, and Following Through. Ms. Collins does a wonderful job of interweaving the many social factors at play—the civil rights movement, the sexual revolution, key pieces of legislation, the legal battles that made the laws stick, and the gaps in equality that still exist. Each chapter is divided into brief sections headed by a quotation from a particular woman’s experience, which provides a rich context for the astounding social changes that were occurring. Sometimes, the quotations are from women who are widely recognized for their accomplishments—women who have shaped history. The book includes the stories of all the major players, including Margaret Sanger, Alice Paul, Ella Baker, Rosa Parks, Betty Friedan, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Gloria Steinem. In telling the story of Loretta Weeks, who spent years fighting workplace discrimination after civil rights legislation had been passed, Ms. Collins quotes Ms. Weeks as saying, “…I knew women worked and needed a place in the world.”

    But this isn’t just the story of well-known women fighting public battles for equality. Just as often, Ms. Collins quotes women whose trials and accomplishments were behind the scenes, women whose lives were affected by social change but didn’t necessarily become a catalyst for it. This narrative technique allows the reader to place herself in history; oh, you think. Here is where my story would fit.

    I found this book extremely enlightening, as I was born in 1971, smack in the middle of the movement. By the time I was old enough to understand a bit of the world, I took for granted freedoms that were mere fantasies in the two decades before my birth, including a college education, an ability to see myself as a career woman first and a mother second, and the luxury of choosing any career I set my sights on.

    The struggles of my generation, and those who have come after me, are charted in the last part of the book: the difficulty of balancing work and childcare for mothers, the continued, and expanded, emphasis on beauty as a woman’s most important asset. After reading this book, I understand both the blessings and the difficulties of my own time in a new way. Ms. Collins describes the legislation that changed women’s lives as well as the legislation, such as the Child and Family Services Bill of 1975, that never went anywhere. In doing so, she fills in the blanks for those of us who are familiar with the broad strokes of women’s history but fuzzy on the details.

    Because women’s history isn’t taught as—well, you know, history—most of the women who fought to change our lives aren’t household names. When Everything Changed, by chronicling these lives, begins to right that wrong. This book should be required reading in high school and college history courses—it is both accessible and straightforward, and provides a window into our own lives. This book, in short, is essential; by reading it, we gain a deeper understanding of where we have been, and a fuller understanding of where we need to go.

  • Darcy

    I found this to be just a delight to read. All kinds of "I didn't know that!" and "Oooh, insightful!" and "[chuckle] Oh Gail, how droll!" moments. Lots I didn't know about famous women in a variety of fields, and great story after great story about non-famous women as well.

  • Alan Cook

    I was going to give this book four stars instead of five because I thought the author was cherry-picking her examples, but the more I got into the book the more I saw that she was doing in-depth research and trying to remain objective, which is difficult to do with a subject like this. My wife and I both lived and worked through the time period covered in the book, and of course we each have our own take on what happened, but the book brought back many memories.

    I read the book because I am

    I was going to give this book four stars instead of five because I thought the author was cherry-picking her examples, but the more I got into the book the more I saw that she was doing in-depth research and trying to remain objective, which is difficult to do with a subject like this. My wife and I both lived and worked through the time period covered in the book, and of course we each have our own take on what happened, but the book brought back many memories.

    I read the book because I am currently collaborating with my wife on writing a book about her career, in which she went from being a school teacher to a vice president of Xerox, so the background provided by Gail Collins' book is very relevant.

    It's a must-read for young women who take today's world for granted, because the women who paved the way for the current generation should be honored, and everybody should study history so as not to repeat its mistakes.

    There is necessarily a lot of talk about politics in the book, but I thought the last story was particularly revealing. After women became a majority in the New Hampshire state senate and were all set to do great things, they found they were facing a $200 million budget gap. So apparently electing women to government office isn't an immediate cure for government overspending. In fact, many of the women quoted in the book wanted government to do more, not less, which would lead to a bigger welfare state on the road to socialism.

    I'll end this review with three quotations about socialism:

    From Margaret Thatcher (paraphrasing): "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

    From Winston Churchill: "(Socialism's) inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

    From my son, a successful financial advisor: "Under socialism I'd goof off."

  • Meg - A Bookish Affair

    "When Everything Changed" is a history of American women from 1960 the present and everything that they had to go through in order to get where we are today. It was a time of rapid change. You had women entering the workforce in higher levels than ever before. Their roles and the way that they saw themselves, and the ways that they wanted others to see them were changing as well. When you look at history, there is so much change that occurred for women in the 1960s. The 1960s were really the

    "When Everything Changed" is a history of American women from 1960 the present and everything that they had to go through in order to get where we are today. It was a time of rapid change. You had women entering the workforce in higher levels than ever before. Their roles and the way that they saw themselves, and the ways that they wanted others to see them were changing as well. When you look at history, there is so much change that occurred for women in the 1960s. The 1960s were really the beginning of the feminist movement as women were moving out of their traditional roles and into more different roles then they'd ever had before. The following decades meant even more changes for women. As a woman who lives today, I'm definitely appreciative of those who came before me and paved the way for me to do what I want to do.

    This book gave me an even greater appreciation for those that came before me. Gail Collins has written a lot about women and women's issues so she is definitely well versed in the subject, which shines through in her narrative. She pulls together so many poignant points of view in this book. She covers not only who made changes but what kind of changes were occurring in areas such as fashion and the workforce. This was a great read that not only showed me how far we've come by and many ways how far we still have to go in order to make things the best that they can be for women. I suggest this book to anyone who is looking for an engaging account of the many great strides that so many women have made over the past five decades or so.

  • Julie Ekkers

    I like Gail Collins' columns so I picked this up, but did not expect to learn much that was new only because I've read a lot of post-WWII history and women's history. But I learned a lot! Collins weaves interviews she did with regular folks who lived through these times with reporting on the events of those years. I thought this approach gave the reader the best of both worlds--the broader picture, and the individual people moving through it. The sections on the 1960s and 70s were especially

    I like Gail Collins' columns so I picked this up, but did not expect to learn much that was new only because I've read a lot of post-WWII history and women's history. But I learned a lot! Collins weaves interviews she did with regular folks who lived through these times with reporting on the events of those years. I thought this approach gave the reader the best of both worlds--the broader picture, and the individual people moving through it. The sections on the 1960s and 70s were especially well done, I thought. I particularly liked her exploration of the civil rights movement as a precursor to the women's movement, as well as the roles of black women in it and the tensions that existed with black men and white women. I also loved reading about various legislative and court cases of the 70s, especially the bill that passed both houses of Congress in 1972 allowing for national, comprehensive early (pre-K) childcare for any parent who wanted it--!!!!! I had no idea that something like that had ever been considered! (It was vetoed by President Nixon.) The story of its creation and demise was fascinating. I thought the sections on the 1980s and 1990s were less cohesive, but thought this made sense in that the issues that came to the fore then (i.e. work-life balance and child care for parents working outside of the home) are still playing out. This is a very accessible account of recent history that I think one would enjoy with or without a working knowledge of the time period she is covering.

  • Dana Stabenow

    I was too young and also incredibly lucky to have been raised by a mother who never said "You can't do that, honey, you're a girl" to be paying enough attention to the women's rights movement. So it's lucky Collins wrote this definitive history, so I can read about Lois Rabinowitz getting thrown out of a NYC court in 1960 because she's wearing slacks, and about Tahita Jenkins, fired from her job as a New York City bus driver in 2007 because she wouldn't wear pants.

    I was too young and also incredibly lucky to have been raised by a mother who never said "You can't do that, honey, you're a girl" to be paying enough attention to the women's rights movement. So it's lucky Collins wrote this definitive history, so I can read about Lois Rabinowitz getting thrown out of a NYC court in 1960 because she's wearing slacks, and about Tahita Jenkins, fired from her job as a New York City bus driver in 2007 because she wouldn't wear pants.

    writes Collins, and takes us into the lives of women like Lorena Weeks who after an interminable, impoverishing legal battle forced Southern Bell to stop being a company where the lowest-paid man made more than the highest-paid woman, and other women who were fired and laid off for working while female, or ignored because they were female and black. It was, of course, all about the money.

    and

    I can say, wow, I didn't know that, and then I remember Laura Ingalls' first teaching job, which paid twenty dollars a month and board.

    and

    And still are. The ability to have children in one's own time, or not to have them at all, is a hard-fought right of American women and one to be cherished and protected, and it's never more clearly explained than in this book.

    One of the most eye-opening stories is that of Phyllis Schlafly, the anti-women's rights activist who nearly singlehandedly caused the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment. "I'd like to burn you at the stake," Betty Friedan told her to her face, I must say with some justification, because, Collins writes, quoting Robin Morgan, in private Schlafly

    Toward the end Collins illustrates where we are now with a matter-of-fact narrative of the 2008 election, using Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin as her models, with the best defense of Palin's vice-presidential candidacy I've yet seen:

    A book that should be required reading in every American high school history class, along with its prequel, Collins' America's Women. Both highly recommended.

  • Patty

    It has taken me awhile to finish this book, but that was only because other reading had to come first. When I had time, I was immersed in the story that Collins tells in this book. I think Collins has done an excellent job of recording American women’s history. Since the period she covers (1960-2008) is the better part of my life, I had experienced much of what she records here. However, I had not looked back at women’s journey in any organized way.

    I am grateful to Collins for all the work she

    It has taken me awhile to finish this book, but that was only because other reading had to come first. When I had time, I was immersed in the story that Collins tells in this book. I think Collins has done an excellent job of recording American women’s history. Since the period she covers (1960-2008) is the better part of my life, I had experienced much of what she records here. However, I had not looked back at women’s journey in any organized way.

    I am grateful to Collins for all the work she put into compiling this history and I am even more grateful to all the women who contributed their stories to her work. Collins acknowledges that she could not include every woman that she interviewed – I hope that those interviews would be available to other scholars. I am sure they are fascinating.

    I spent a lot of my reading time remembering the first time I heard about feminism, or the ERA, or Gloria and Phyllis or that women earned less money than men at the same job. The rest of the time I was learning background for women’s history that I did not know. Collins made connections for me that I did not make at the time for myself.

    If you lived through the 1960’s through 1990’s, you will be glad for the reminder of how all our lives changed. If you weren’t born until the 1980’s, I encourage you to read this wonderful history. You will have a better understanding of how women (and men) have come a long way. No matter what your age, reading Collins’ book will help you understand how important feminism is to all Americans.

  • Chris

    I've always thought of myself as "moderate" on most political issues, but recent conversations with co-workers have helped me realize my views fall squarely in the "liberal" category. So, when

    gave a rave review to this book, I decided it was time to educate myself about some true liberals (or "libbers", as the case may be) and added it to my library hold list.

    My first impression was the one I get from so many columnists-turned-book-writers: It reads like a huge collection of

    I've always thought of myself as "moderate" on most political issues, but recent conversations with co-workers have helped me realize my views fall squarely in the "liberal" category. So, when

    gave a rave review to this book, I decided it was time to educate myself about some true liberals (or "libbers", as the case may be) and added it to my library hold list.

    My first impression was the one I get from so many columnists-turned-book-writers: It reads like a huge collection of newspaper articles. You literally cannot go two pages without getting to a new sub-heading and matching anecdote. Initially this annoyed me, as I had been fantasizing about an in-depth education on the modern history of the women's movement. However, the style slowly won me over, especially as life went from the relative lull of the holiday season to full-time work/volunteering/etc. If you have 10 minutes to kill, this is a book you can pick up without worrying about having to abandon it mid-story.

    Also, while this book does not have an academic level of depth by any means, it does provide a nice overview of key points in the women's movement, including Civil Rights, the formation of NOW, the fight for the ERA, and the mass entrance of women into higher education and the workplace throughout the 70s and 80s. Collins introduces you to hundreds of women--some famous, some not so--and recounts their personal stories in a way that helps make the human connection to major events that seem so much bigger than one person.

    By the second half of the book, I was truly enjoying myself. I got especially interested when Collins hit the 1980s, as I was able to put the stories in the context of my own life. At one point, a 1980s executive jokes about how they wore "little bowties" to look as professional as men. I vividly remember the yellow paisley bowtie my HR executive mother wore to the office almost every day. At that point, I knew this book had struck a cord with me.

    Ultimately, I appreciated this book for making me think. I've always held a small, secret bit of resentment toward my mother for what I felt was her choosing a career over me. Now, with the context this book provided, I can appreciate how tough that decision must have been for her, and how after being one of only 4 women in her MBA class, she must have felt that she HAD to prove women have a place in the business world. Now I am forced to reasess my own long-held plans of moving to part-time work whenever I have kids of my own. In trying to help my children, will I end up hurting my entire gender?

    That's one of the many tough questions raised by this overall enjoyable book.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.