Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Strange Stirring by Stephanie Coontz

So I heard about this book on NPR and it sounded really interesting - it is described, accurately, as a biography of a book that changed the discourse in this country: The Feminine Mystique.  It was actually better than the book that it was about!

Coontz writes this book after having talked with the women that The Feminine Mystique impacted (and those who didn't) and looking at other primary sources: letters written to Ms. Friedan and by Ms. Friedan for instance.  It was a wonderful perspective really and raised not only the old, tired arguments about the work but continued to peel back the layers of the onion and pierce the veil so to speak.

What was also really interesting to me was the chapter in which Ms. Coontz talked about the current mystiques that prevail. I wished that there had been more discussion about the prevailing modern mystiques but I also realize that this could really be a complete book unto itself.

A really good, accessible read that provided really good analysis of an important work.  A must read.

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