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Extended Audio Sample Big Girls Dont Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women Audiobook, by Rebecca Traister Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (615 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rebecca Traister Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9781400188000
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In the last two years, the United States-its history, assumptions, prejudices, and vocabulary-have all cracked open. A woman won a state presidential primary contest (quite a few of them, actually) for the first time in this country's history. Less than a year later, a vice-presidential candidate concluded her appearance in a national debate and immediately reached for her newborn baby. A few months after that, an African American woman moved into the White House not as an employee but as the First Lady. She is only the third First Lady in American history to have a postgraduate degree, and for most of her marriage, she has out-earned her husband. In Big Girls Don't Cry, Rebecca Traister, a Salon.com columnist whose election coverage garnered much attention, makes sense of this moment in American history, in which women broke barriers and changed the country's narrative in completely unexpected ways: How did the volatile, exhilarating events of the 2008 election fit together? What lessons can be learned from these great political upheavals about women, politics, and the media? In an utterly engaging, razor-sharp narrative interlaced with her first-person account of being a young woman navigating this turbulent and exciting time, Traister explores how-thanks to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, and the history-making work and visibility of Michelle Obama, Tina Fey, Rachel Maddow, Katie Couric, and others-women began to emerge stronger than ever on the national stage. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A passionate, visionary, and very personal account.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Traister does a fine job in showing that progress does not proceed in straight lines, and, sometimes, it's the unlikeliest of individuals who initiate real change. Publishers Weekly
  • “I ended up admiring Traister and loving her book. In its best parts, it is a raw and brave memoir of a journalist who discovered that all is not well for women in America, and a description of how she and other young women are laying claim to their rightful place in the fight…Such a youthful embrace of the women’s work yet to be done is exhilarating—for her generation and for mine.”

    Washington Post

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 2/16/2014

    " Reading this was pure pleasure. Rebecca Traister is a wonderful writer. Big Girls is packed with humor and relevant insights about feminism, politics and American media. I recommend it to any woman that cares about the intersection politics and the progression of gender parity. Can't overstate how much I enjoyed this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 t m | 2/14/2014

    " This book was a great read - especially with this much distance from 2008. It was really interesting to revisit the 2008 campaign with the added insight of time and Traister's collection of perspectives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lianne | 2/13/2014

    " Really interesting book about the 2008 election through the lens of feminism and our current cultural and societal values. I learned a lot, and will use it while the 2012 election season unfolds (though without any women candidates). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlotte Osborn-bensaada | 2/5/2014

    " I am finishing this during the twilight of the 2012 campaign. While this book is really about how women were treated, construed and ultimately fared in the 2008 election, we see many of the issues that will dog Obama's uneven performance in the 2012 campaign. Some may complain that this book rehashes too much of first and second wave feminism, but I personally found it informative and essential to understanding the riptides of race and gender in our politics and debates. I wish more books were out there that were as honest and cogent as Traister'd description of the 2008 election. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Sullivan | 1/26/2014

    " During the 2008 election season, Rebecca Traister was my favorite blogger to read. Whenever she posted, I knew it would be thoughtful, intelligent, accessible, resonant and challenging. So I was thrilled to read her book about women during the 2008 election. It's a great read, and a really complicated, multi-note perspective that goes much deeper than one candidate or another. I found it particularly interesting as she talks about internet coverage, primarily from blogs I was reading during that time. Many articles she describes I remember reading the first time, and it was fascinating to revisit that from an outside lens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 1/21/2014

    " This book made me evaluate some of my own long-held beliefs about what it means to be a feminist. You can talk about politics and gender, art and gender, etc., etc. The simple fact is gender and our beliefs about it and where we see ourselves fitting within the world have an impact on our everyday lives. Traister is an acute observer (and a great writer) who focuses on the 2008 Presidential election and within that mainly on Hillary Clinton's candidacy. She explores the different beliefs by second- and third-wave feminists and the criticisms hurled at one another within the confines of a political contest. I recommend this book to anyone who is open to examining their own beliefs on women in politics and where energies could best spent to move us closer to equitable representation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brittani H | 1/16/2014

    " If you're looking to relive the frustration, excitement, and general emotional roller-coaster that was the democratic primary and '08 election. Thoughtful and incredibly engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachael | 1/16/2014

    " A fascinating look at how women's roles in the previous presidential cycle -- from HRC's historic bid to the introduction of Sarah Palin -- changed history...and showed how many things HAVEN'T changed. It was good reading to prep for the 2012 election! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beatrice Gormley | 1/2/2014

    " An insightful, passionate narrative about the presidential campaign of 2008 and what it meant to women, especially politically involved women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 allison | 11/23/2013

    " She stumbles a bit in the section on pop culture responses to the '08 election cycle--the stuff on SNL in particular is pretty bland--but otherwise it's a sharp and inspiring and thoughtful read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy Handelsman | 11/23/2013

    " Excellent book - and it explained all of the things I was thinking about during the 2008 election. Definitely worth reading!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meredith | 10/19/2013

    " What a book. A maddening, frustrating, enraging, yet hopeful, reassuring, and righteous book. Caution: if you cried at any point during the 2008 election, those tears might come back while reading this clever tome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 2/27/2013

    " Must read for all feminists, irregardless of what wave you classify yourself. Absolutely could not put it down from the first page. The election has been over for 3 years, but this is relevant today and will be relevant for the upcoming campaign/election. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 12/3/2012

    " This book is really good. Engagingly written for a political history. At times, I could not put it down. I would like to meet Traister -- There were sections of this book that were written as if she had read my mind! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 9/16/2012

    " SO important. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonelle | 4/11/2012

    " Traister was a little whiny and I could have done without the parts that were part memoir, but she really opened my eyes to just how terribly the women candidates were treated in the 2008 presidential campaign. She really made me think...and still has me thinking about the issues that she raised. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy Nicastro | 3/9/2012

    " Thought-provoking and challenging to an older feminist like me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 3/6/2012

    " I wish I had known all this was going on in 2008. Fine feminist perspective of the events. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 5/8/2011

    " Must read for all feminists, irregardless of what wave you classify yourself. Absolutely could not put it down from the first page. The election has been over for 3 years, but this is relevant today and will be relevant for the upcoming campaign/election. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Unwisely | 4/17/2011

    " Wow. I really enjoyed this book. Despite being somewhat of a political junkie and into feminist issues, there was still a lot of things that I learned and thought about in a new way. Well-written, engaging, and made me re-think Hillary Clinton. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 E | 4/16/2011

    " I don't read much feminist or political books (other than Slate's blog). But it was an interesting look at the 2008 election. And I might recommend it to my mother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 4/2/2011

    " Excellent. Made me think about the last presidential campaign in a new way. Interesting observations about the differences between feminists in my era (I'm 61) and younger feminists today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abby | 3/3/2011

    " A wonderful, insightful and powerful read. I would highly recommend this for all interested in politics, woman's movements, or really anyone who voted in the 2008 election. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tenecia | 2/13/2011

    " Very interesting. Enjoyed the different aspects covered. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wrdwrrior | 2/6/2011

    " The things I didn't know about the last election! The author make a point about feminism, Hilary, Sarah P, and Michelle O and how their very presence changed women's future. Although I have to say the thought of a conservative Republican feminist somehow just doesn't quite do it for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 chrisvee | 1/21/2011

    " This book made me wish people like the author had had their revelation much sooner when it would have done the US some good. "

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About the Author
Rebecca Traister is writer at large for New York magazine and a contributing editor at Elle. A National Magazine Award finalist, she has written about women in politics, media, and entertainment from a feminist perspective for The New Republic and Salon and has also contributed to The NationThe New York ObserverThe New York TimesThe Washington PostVogue, Glamour and Marie Claire. Traister’s first book, Big Girls Don’t Cry, about women and the 2008 election, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010 and the winner of the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize. She lives in New York with her family. 
About the Narrator

Kirsten Potter, who graduated with highest honors from Boston University, has narrated numerous audiobooks and has performed for television and in theaters across the country. She has won several awards, including eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her work has been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and by AudioFile magazine, among many others.