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* NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION * BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION BY THE BOSTON GLOBE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * NPR * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY *
The New York Times bestselling investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women is “an informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just the single ladies—who want to gain a greater understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of the United States” (The New York Times Book Review).
In 2009, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven.
But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more. Today, only twenty percent of Americans are married by age twenty-nine, compared to nearly sixty percent in 1960.
“An informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just single ladies” (The New York Times Book Review), All the Single Ladies is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the unmarried American woman. Covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures, “we’re better off reading Rebecca Traister on women, politics, and America than pretty much anyone else” (The Boston Globe).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
For centuries, being an unmarried woman earned you the charming label of “spinster” or “old maid”—but the single woman has finally come into her own. Early in All the Single Ladies, journalist Rebecca Traister (Good and Mad) shares a striking statistic: Over 50 percent of American women are now single. With piercing wit, Traister tracks the evolution of female autonomy, from the dawn of “dating” in the 1920s to the age of online matchmaking. She uses the compelling personal experiences of 30 married and unmarried women from a variety of cultural, racial, and economic backgrounds to illustrate the effects of all this change. From the income hit that women who choose to remain single can take even if they have high-status careers to changing social attitudes about sexual freedom—including the freedom to choose celibacy—narrator Candace Thaxton’s voice sparkles with enthusiasm as she tells the stories of Traister’s subjects. This account of the unfolding story of American women is a compelling listen, whether you’re one of the single ladies or not.