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Extended Audio Sample All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, by Rebecca Traister Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rebecca Traister Narrator: Candace Thaxto Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In a provocative, groundbreaking work, National Magazine Award­ finalist Rebecca Traister, “the most brilliant voice on feminism in this country” (Anne Lamott), traces the history of unmarried women in America who, through social, political, and economic means, have radically shaped our nation.

For legions of women, living single isn’t news; it’s life.

In 2009, the award–winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies—a book she thought would be a work of contemporary journalism—about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven.

But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more.

Today, only twenty percent of Americans are wed by age twenty-nine, compared to nearly sixty percent in 1960. The Population Reference Bureau calls it a “dramatic reversal.” All the Single Ladies is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the single American woman. Covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures, All the Single Ladies is destined to be a classic work of social history and journalism. Exhaustively researched, brilliantly balanced, and told with Traister’s signature wit and insight, this book should be shelved alongside Gail Collins’s When Everything Changed.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Visionary.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “One of the most powerful voices in a new generation of American feminist writers.”

    Foreign Affairs

  • “Entirely engaging…a singularly triumphant work of women presented in beautiful formation.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “[Traister is] one of the nation’s smartest and most provocative feminist voices.”

    Boston Globe

  • “An invigorating study of single women in America with refreshing insight into the real life of the so-called spinster.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “In 2009, the percentage of American women who were not married surpassed 50 percent. Traister’s important book examines that phenomenon. Narrator Candace Thaxton handles both the exposition and the interviews with passion, drawing on the indignation of some of the interviewees who defend their decision to delay or forgo marriage, often in defiance of family and friends. Thaxton gives a nuanced presentation yet speaks with conviction about a culture that struggles to adjust to self-reliant women who throw off expectations that the ultimate goal of their lives is a wedding, marriage, and children. Maintaining the tone of an observer who has empathy for her subjects, Thaxton is engaged with their struggles and takes pleasure in their successes.”


  • A Flavorwire Pick for the 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2016
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