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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking reading
In this fascinating book, Jessica Mann gives an account of what life was like for women in the 1950s. It makes for compelling reading and I can't imagine any woman, after having read this book, express a yearning to return to those days and be a "captive wife." It is hard for those of us born after the 1960s to imagine what it must have been like: limited educational...
Published on 20 May 2012 by CarolineJ

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not overly keen on this,I gave up after a while but might go back and give it another go.
Published 4 months ago by carole


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking reading, 20 May 2012
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This review is from: The Fifties Mystique (Paperback)
In this fascinating book, Jessica Mann gives an account of what life was like for women in the 1950s. It makes for compelling reading and I can't imagine any woman, after having read this book, express a yearning to return to those days and be a "captive wife." It is hard for those of us born after the 1960s to imagine what it must have been like: limited educational and work opportunities, complete financial dependence upon your husband, the devastating consequences of a pregnancy outside of marriage and the eternal domestic grind without the labour saving devices we take for granted today are just some of the aspects which Mann covers.
I read this book with a mixture of fascination, horror and a heartfelt appreciation for the times I live in today. Highly recommended for women of all ages.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An embarassing reminder!, 5 May 2012
By 
John Bennett (Hayle, Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fifties Mystique (Paperback)
I was born just after the war and I am mortified to be reminded of the limited hygiene we took for granted! Jessica Mann's book is full of such reminders - and I have given copies to my adult children so they may have an insight into the life of their parents and grandparents.
While 'The Fifties Mystique' does highlight the incredible indignities that women took for granted in that decade and beyond, this does not mean that it is of interest only to ardent feminists. It is a very enjoyable read, well-researched and a reminder that all freedoms have to be won and protected.
Recommended for anyone who would like to learn, or be reminded about, everyday life and social behaviour in the post-war years - and to discover how far we have come.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Jessica Mann, 1 April 2012
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This review is from: The Fifties Mystique (Paperback)
This book tells the post-Feminist generation what it was really like in the fifties, why we needed Feminism so very badly, and why we must do everything in our power to protect it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 May 2012
This review is from: The Fifties Mystique (Paperback)
A real eye opener for those who take today's equality of the sexes very much as a given. Vivid descriptions of pre-machine drudgery and the boredom of the diurnal round, of the ignorance brought about by prudery- of how recently things were so very different, and less good, for women. A lovely read, in short chunks or as a whole. The author's voice comes across loud and clear and determined to correct nostalgic rose-tinted views of those bad old days.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much for the "good old days", 5 May 2012
By 
F. Taylor (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fifties Mystique (Paperback)
Writer Jessica Mann -- previously best known for her literary journalism and crime novels -- takes a look back at what it was like to be a young woman in the 1950s. For those who look at the past through rose-tinted, Daily Mail style glasses this brilliant and compelling book will come as an eye opener. And for any men who really think that forcing your women to feign stupidity and helplessness is or was a good idea, even more so. If the past is another country, for women the 1950s was North Korea! Heartily recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Those were the days, oh boy........, 9 July 2012
By 
Morven Tough (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fifties Mystique (Paperback)
Jessica Mann's book is fascinating and everything she says so true. Born in the late Forties, I was lucky to be brought up on the other side of the pond in the late Fifties and Sixties. When I came to live in England in the Seventies, I found society here still suffocatingly repressive - I think the society reflected in the Fifties Mystique lasted a good bit longer than just that decade and the next. What Ms. Mann's book has helped me to understand is why my British relatives and in-laws, born in the twenties, were so full of old-fashioned incomprehensible prejudices and assumptions, they seemed to be stuck in a time-warp - I guess they couldn't help it, they just didn't know any better. I hope my daughter, born in the late nineties, continues to benefit from the enlightenment and hard-won freedom of choice the Baby-Boomers fought to get her, but no doubt about it, there's no guarantee, she could be experiencing an Emancipation Mystique and it might be her daughter next who wonders 'what happened?'.

Thank you, Ms. Mann.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oddly readable and entertaining, 25 Jan. 2013
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Oddly readable and entertaining? Yes I was not expecting this to be as absorbing or good fun to read. I think I was expecting a 'bang bang right on book for wummin', but Jessica Mann keeps popping out from behind the facts ( some of them actually very depressing when you look back) like some welcomed and amusing best friend sharing a secret, amply demonstrating a confidence and command of her thoughts and material. I originally bought this as a Christmas gift for my sister - and got sucked in from the opening paragraph. There is a lovely directness from the author which prevents all the detail about surveys and legislation drowning the narrative whilst still marshalling the facts - I like a book with 'voice' and I liked what I heard.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reliving the fifties, 22 April 2013
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This review is from: The Fifties Mystique (Paperback)
A fascinating read for one who grew up in the fifties, as I did, and who remembers everything clearly but without questioning at the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book., 23 May 2014
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This review is from: The Fifties Mystique (Kindle Edition)
This was an excellent book giving a good insight into the fifties from someone who lived through it.

Jessica Mann writes wonderfully about how things always seem better when you read the news about them..

She explains in detail how women were viewed in different aspects of life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it shows that things are not always as good as they seem when you look back.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book, 12 Jun. 2014
By 
Annik Lamotte (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fifties Mystique (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book and identified with the author. I was born in 1948 and am thus a child of the Sixties and a Baby Boomer, but obviously I lived though the Fifties and everything she describes is familiar. my only problem with the book (as a retired journalist and book publisher) is that the proof-reading is poor - it would be nice if someone could rectify that. And hilariously, my iPad refuses to write 'My' in that last sentence...
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The Fifties Mystique by Jessica Mann
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