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The Fifties Mystique

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  28 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Many young women ‘long to put the clock back to the post-war years when life seemed prettier and nicer.’ In this book Jessica Mann demolishes such preconceptions about their mothers’ or grandmothers’ young days, showing that in reality life was uglier and nastier.

Born just before WW2, she grew up in the post-war era of austerity, restrictions and hypocrisy, before anyone e
Paperback, 1st edition, 196 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Quartet Books
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Jul 29, 2012 Veronica rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book didn't do much for me. Too impersonal to be a memoir, not rigorous enough to be social history. Mann quotes people without saying who they are or even giving any context for the quote. She throws statistics around without giving a precise source. And, at least for anyone over 50, there's nothing new here. It's just depressing that every couple of generations, women have to discover what the point of feminism is all over again. Some of the "liberation" that's been achieved: hmm. Young w ...more
Jul 10, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, I urge every woman to read this, then follow it up with Caitlin Moran's How to be a Woman. Mann tells us how it really was in the '50s and why we shouldn't hanker after 'good old days' that never existed. Being a woman in the '50s was hard work, repressive and quite frankly, stank. Just the description of the underwear alone is enough to make you realise how lucky you are!
Kerri Turner
Jul 02, 2015 Kerri Turner rated it liked it
What an odd book this turned out to be! Instead of the insight into the mind of a 1950s woman that was promised by the blurb, it seemed more of a mish-mash of opinions backed up with quotes from unnamed sources and fiction novels.

I actually really enjoyed the aspects that talked about the 50s, which is where the three stars comes in. Unfortunately, those parts probably only amounted to about a third of the book - the rest is bogged down by hypercritical and sweeping judgements on today's women.
Kazimiera pendrey
T his was quite a good read but not quite as good as i felt it could have been. I felt that the author made a lot of very generalised assumptions regarding women from very different backgrounds to her own but all in all an interesting read
Dec 11, 2015 Arwen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Struggled at times to maintain interest with this book, but on the whole it provided some fascinating insights into life for 1950s women.
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Crime-writer Jessica Mann was born in London, England in 1937. She studied archaeology at Cambridge University and Law at Leicester University.

She is the author of a non-fiction book, Deadlier Than the Male: An Investigation into Feminine Crime Writing, about female crime writers from Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers to Ngaio Marsh. She contributes reviews and feature articles to many newspape
More about Jessica Mann...

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