by Linda K. Kerber

Demystifying the Mystique

Betty Friedan in the 21st century

Marrying the skills of the sociologist and the historian, Stephanie Coontz gives us a “biography of a book” in A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s (Basic Books, $25.95). Enriched by her own data and interviews, Coontz cuts through the fog that has surrounded The Feminine Mystique since its publication in 1963 and places Betty Friedan’s analytical breakthrough in its historical context.

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