• The Feminine Mystique

  • By: Betty Friedan
  • Narrated by: Parker Posey
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-11-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (571 ratings)

Regular price: $34.95

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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.
This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.
©2001 Betty Friedan (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"[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
5 out of 5 stars
By Anthony on 01-23-15

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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23 of 25 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Charles Grey on 04-04-16

Historically Important Book, Badly Narrated

Betty Friedan's book is a cultural milestone in the same way that other books of its time, like The Lonely Crowd, The Organization Man, and The Hidden Persuaders is. A lot of the information is pretty dated, but the book opens a window up onto American culture and society in the mid-twentieth century. The reading by Parker Posey, however, is godawful. Monotonous and flat with no variation in tone. Probably better to read a hard copy of the book rather than suffer through this rendition.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jim R. Dawson on 08-22-16

Very interesting book - enjoyable performance

I often struggle with non fiction. I tend to find it unengaging and difficult to digest. However, Friedan's work is so grounded, so rooted in statistic and real life examples that it makes it perhaps not easily digestable but palatable with very little chewing.

Very small point on the delivery - the reader can slightly over pronounce her 's' and 'sh' sounds. When I was listening on my headphones, it had a tendency to give me a headache, but this may just be me being overly sensitive!

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3 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 11-11-15

a brilliant book boringly narrated

this is a really interesting and important book in feminist thought. something about the narration on this audible product is hard to listen to. she is very monotone which sends you to sleep, but also she has this conflict/retaliatory tone which makes the monologue sound aggressive.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By MissMetalNeen on 05-07-14

To bad so many women are going backwards

What made the experience of listening to The Feminine Mystique the most enjoyable?

Parker Posey was a fantastic choice, she is amazing.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Its hard to believe that with all of our advances so many women are still falling for the feminine mystic.
I found it so hard to come to terms that women have fought so hard for rights, rights now it seems women today take for granted with the re immergence of the 50's style house wife. I cringe when I hear someone call themselves a 'wifey'. Or when I watch a friend a change herself into someone else for a man. These women would roll in their graves.

I needed to read this book to be reminded of all that was fought for.

It was actually sickening to me listening to the chapters on advertising fuelling womens need or wants to be fulfilled because its rampant today. That has not changed and until reading this book I had never even thought to think of where it may have stemmed from.

This book has made me want to learn more on the women's movement.

I was completely overwhelmed and awed at times during this book.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By William on 12-03-15

"The problem that has no name" is depression

What disappointed you about The Feminine Mystique?

I felt like the author was sobbing whilst she was writing.

What was most disappointing about Betty Friedan’s story?

It's too one sided. In her misery she's over looked the other side of her arguments.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I wish she'd cheer up! She should be less sensational. She's like a really depressing tabloid newspaper. She should use less emotional words.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Misery, depression.

Any additional comments?

It was an influential book in its time. I don't entirely agree with the political agenda but I like to try to listen every point view. for this reason I've started many books, and returned them. I only got 3 chapters into this one. I wish I could return this book, but I've returned too many books, and I'm stuck with this misery of a book!

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1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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