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Betty Friedan (1921-2006) is hailed by historians as a seminal figure in the 'Second Wave' of the women's feminist movement. In 1957, Friedan wrote a questionnaire for her former classmates at a reunion at the all-female, Smith College. The results revealed that many women shared the same frustrations as her in their roles as housewives and mothers. Friedan's findings provided a clear-eyed analysis of the issues that affected women's lives in the decades after the Second World War, and became the basis to her book, The Feminine Mystique. A sensation on publication selling over 3 million copies, it established Friedan as one of the chief architects of the women's liberation movement.
A novelist and journalist, Lionel Shriver was born in North Carolina and educated at Columbia University in New York. Her eight published novels include New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World and international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, for which she won the Orange Prize in 2005. Her ninth novel So Much for That will be published in 2010. She writes regularly for the Guardian, the Times, and The Daily Telegraph, and has published features, reviews, and columns in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Economist, among many other publications. She lives in London.
There are several detractors on Friedan's work but I have to say it marks an era of wondering what on earth was this "feminine mystique". Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bobby Moon
First off I'll declare my bias, in that I'm a man; I believe I'm unusually feminist, however a man nonetheless. Read morePublished on 29 Aug. 2008 by Talc Demon
I have avoided reading this book for many years, because I knew from what I'd heard about it that Betty Friedan had a low opinion of housewives, and as a housewife myself I didn't... Read morePublished on 13 Jun. 2008 by L O'connor
An interesting read but compared to other feminist literature it involves quite a small group of people. Namely housewives living in the USA during the 1950's and 60's. Read morePublished on 24 May 2008 by Sally Wilton