The Feminine Mystique

  • by Betty Friedan
  • Narrated by Parker Posey
  • 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1963, The Feminine Mystique ignited a revolution that profoundly changed our culture, our consciousness, and our lives. Today it newly penetrates to the heart of issues determining our lives - and sounds a call to arms against the very real dangers of a new feminine mystique. The underlying issues raised by Betty Friedan strike at the core of the problems women still face at home and in the marketplace. As women continue to struggle for equality, to keep their hard-won gains, to find fulfillment in their careers, marriages, and families, The Feminine Mystique remains the seminal consciousness-raising work of our times.
As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Betty Friedan's book, you'll also receive an exclusive Jim Atlas interview. This interview – where James Atlas interviews Naomi Wolf about the life and work of Betty Friedan – begins as soon as the audiobook ends.

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What the Critics Say

"[The Feminine Mystique] now feels both revolutionary and utterly contemporary....Four decades later, millions of individual transformations later, there is still so much to learn from this book....Those who think of it as solely a feminist manifesto ought to revisit its pages to get a sense of the magnitude of the research and reporting Friedan undertook." (Anna Quindlen)
"If you want to understand what has happened to American women over the last half-century, their extraordinary journey from Doris Day to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and beyond, you have to start with this book." (The New York Times Magazine)
"One of those rare books we are endowed with only once in several decades." (Amitai Etzioni)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A landmark book of its time and relevant now

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan is a landmark book of its time, and it is still relevant for all women today. This book describes the early 20th century turning of women from vital human beings, who were fulfilled by higher education and work, into a mystique that proved to be a mix of self-suppression and repression, which eventually was supported by society at large and by women themselves.

How did women go from being over 50% of university educated people in the 1900’s through 1930’s to a human being who was supposed to be dedicated to others who gained her sense of self-worth and fulfillment from serving and giving up her own personhood? How did this effect the women themselves, and their family? How did it affect the age at which women married?

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, how did women, who while society was telling them that they should be happy, start breaking out of the mold of the feminine mystique.

How damaging was the illusion of the feminine mystique to women themselves, husbands, daughters, and sons? How does this affect us today?

How was this related to profit? There was a lot of profit to be made at the expense of the wellbeing of women. This is still true.


I highly recommend that everyone read this book.
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- Anthony

Great material - poorly read

This is a classic, though it is dated. A number of facts that were true in the 1950s are no longer true today, such as large numbers of college bound women marrying in their teens and having large numbers of children. What stands out about this ebook is the poor quality of the reading. Pauses are frequently inserted in places that don't make sense, and the passion is simply missing.
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- Kathryn KM

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-11-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios