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What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us:
Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman

by Danielle Crittenden

ISBN 0684832194 / 9780684832197 / 0-684-83219-4
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

Talk to women under forty today, and you will hear that something has gone terribly wrong with their lives. They have achieved goals previous generations of women could only dream of. Yet women feel more confused and more insecure than ever. Now one of the leading female commentators of her generation exposes the ideas that prevent modern women from finding happiness and points the way to a better future.

What has gone wrong? What can be done to set it right? These are the questions Danielle Crittenden answers in "What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us." Crittenden is the founder and editor of "The Women's Quarterly" magazine. In only four years, Crittenden's "Quarterly" has made itself the center of a new national debate about women. Her views and writings have been cited, reprinted, argued, lauded, and criticized across the country. Mary Matalin describes the "Quarterly" as "one of my most favorite magazines on the planet." George Will calls it "a bright light," and even Betty Friedan, with whom Crittenden has sparred, concedes that her views are on "the cutting edge."

In "What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us," Crittenden looks at the big topics in women's lives: sex, marriage, motherhood, work, aging, and politics. She argues that a generation of women has been misled: taught to blame men and pursue independence at all costs. Happiness is obtainable, Crittenden says, but only if women will free their minds from outdated feminist slogans and habits of behavior:

"There are a great many women unhappy because they acted upon the wisdom passed along to them by the people they most trusted. These women thought they did everything right only to have it turn out all wrong. That thewisdom they received was faulty, that it was based on false assumptions, is a hard lesson for anyone to learn. But it is a lesson every woman growing up today will have to learn as I, and thousands upon thousands of women of my generation, had to learn, often painfully."

By drawing on her own experience and the decade she has spent researching and analyzing modern female life, Crittenden passionately and engagingly tackles the myths that keep women from realizing the happiness they deserve. And she introduces a new way of thinking about women's problems that may, finally, help women achieve the lives they desire. "What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us" is sure to ignite debate not only across the country but, more compellingly, within the reader herself. [via]