Quick Take: NYTimes columnist chronicles the women’s movement in America from (1960 to the present) via interviews and anecdotes.
Why I Picked It: I love Gail Collins. I read her book America’s Women in college, heard her speak at my grad school (UMass Amherst) and adore her columns (totally nailed the bishops v. birth control brouhaha). Also, it seemed a good fit for my Feminist Book Club, so we picked it for our January read.
My Thoughts: I was a little disappointed. I’m a former women’s studies student, so there wasn’t much in here with which I wasn’t already familiar. This is a better book for my cousin who hasn’t had any exposure to the women’s movement or feminism, aside from my lectures/rantings.
I did have a “that’s so cool” moment when I read the epilogue and figured out I know one of the women Collins mentioned.
Most of the other readers in my book club didn’t like the narrative style. Each chapter is subdivided into anecdotes, with a quote as a header for each section. I remember the style from America’s Women, and it didn’t bother me, but more linear thinkers may struggle.
We did have a great discussion at our book club meeting–jumping from the book to our own lives and experiences. Most of us were young women (late twenties to late thirties) but one of our members is in her fifties, so it was great to see the different perspectives and how we reacted to the different time periods in the book.
Overall, it’s a fine book for someone new to American women’s history and the feminist movements.