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American Writers: a journey through history is a permanent archive for educators, researchers and every one interested in the writers featured in the  C‑SPAN series.


Born: February 4, 1921 - Peoria, Illinois

Betty Goldstein graduated from Smith College in 1942 and worked for five years before marrying Carl Friedan (divorced 1969) and settling uncomfortably into the life of a housewife, mother, and occasional freelance writer. Discovering in 1957 that several of her college classmates were as
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Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
C-SPAN's Video Library: Betty Friedan
dissatisfied with their lives as she was with her own, she began a series of studies that eventually resulted in the landmark work The Feminine Mystique (1963). The book's thesis was that women were victims of a pervasive system of delusions and false values that urged them to find their fulfillment and identity vicariously, through their husbands and children. An immediate and controversial best-seller, it is now regarded as one of the most influential American books of the 20th century.

In 1966 Friedan cofounded the National Organization for Women (NOW), which was dedicated to achieving equality of opportunity for women. A founding member of the National Women's Political Caucus (1971), she was a leader of the campaign for
Works by Betty Friedan
The Feminine Mystique (1963)
The Second Stage (1981)
The Fountain of Age (1993)
Life So Far (2000)
ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The Second Stage (1981) assessed the status of the women's movement. The Fountain of Age (1993) addresses the psychology of old age, seeking to counter the notion that aging means loss and depletion. Her memoir, Life So Far, appeared in 2000.

Web sites about Betty Friedan
Jewish Women's Archives: Betty Friedan

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