* 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
Unmarried women have historically been viewed as objects of pity, suspicion, and scorn. But from journalist Rebecca Traister’s perspective, they’re a growing force for social, economic, and political change. In All the Single Ladies, Traister combines research, interviews, and her own personal experiences to explore the reasons an increasing number of women are opting out of marriage. Written with wit and candor, this book is something of a call to arms, encouraging women to embrace their independence and their power to change the world.
Incorporating a lively slew of perspectives of single ladies past and present, Traister (Big Girls Don't Cry) conducts a nuanced investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women in America and the opportunities available when marriage is no longer "the measure of female existence." She takes into account the realities of loneliness, poverty, delayed reproduction, and childlessness that make singlehood difficult for some, as she fills out the picture with subjects across the spectrum of color and class, dismantling the persistent myths about female desire and ambition with earnest energy and facts. Traister is funny and fair in how she deals with the prevalent stereotypes and remaining stigmas attached to being an unmarried woman in society. She sticks to her central argument that the world is changing and policies need to catch up to the social reality. The result is an invigorating study of single women in America with refreshing insight into the real life of the so-called spinster.
This book is stocked full of important information about society, government, economics, medicine, history, etc. All women should read it. Men probably won't be as interested in the subject matter, but I highly recommend it to them also.