The Women Who Broke All the Rules: Challenges, Choices, and Triumphs of a Generation

Susan Evans, Author, Joan Avis, Joint Author
Susan Evans, Author, Joan Avis, Joint Author Sourcebooks $18.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-57071-430-6
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-1-57071-428-3
Hardcover - 258 pages - 978-1-4022-2986-2
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The subjects of this book, women of the post-World War II baby-boomer generation, broke with more traditional role models to create what we know as ""women's liberation,"" or the feminist movement. Evans and Avis, both social science professors at the University of San Francisco, interviewed 100 middle-class women born between 1945 and 1955 who perceive their lives as being both conventional and unconventional. While women have always worked, those of this generation came of age during the social upheaval of the Vietnam era, trying to resolve the conflict between parental approval of ""good girls"" and the desire to follow their own dreams. Grouped thematically, their life stories offer insight into gender roles and expectations, and why some women still do not take credit for their own success, attributing it instead to luck rather than to intelligence or hard work. Responding to their dilemmas with humor, these women offer alternative answers to such questions as ""So, how come you're not married?"" (""I've become the person my mother hoped I'd marry"") and statements such as ""Old rule: have children while you're young"" (""New truth: have children, preferably before menopause""). There's not much new here, but this book is sure to evoke personal comparisons from readers--giving new meaning to old memories--as well as encouragement and inspiration. (Apr.)
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